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Gayathri Ramprasad    

Founder & President of ASHA International & Author of "Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within"

Gayathri Ramprasad is the Founder and President of ASHA International a nonprofit organization promoting personal,organizational, and community wellness, and the author of "Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within." Her successful battle in overcoming life-threatening mental illness and her amazing recovery taught her the power of hope and holistic wellness. Now, she shares that message with others. Since the launch of ASHA International's wellness campaign, Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives in 2006, Gayathri's keynotes, wellness workshops, and cultural competence trainings have reached more than 30,000 people nationally and internationally, with a resounding message of hope and healing. Individuals and organizations alike applaud Gayathri as an agent of hope and transformational change.

Gayathri is a member of the Global Speakers Federation and winner of the prestigious Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Voice Award for Consumer Leadership sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She is also the winner of the 2008 Outstanding Alumna Award from her alma mater George Fox University.

She lives in Portland, OR with her husband and two daughters.

Speech Topics


FINDING THE LIGHT WITHIN: My Journey from Adversity to Advocacy

Gayathri was born and raised in Bangalore, India, amidst ancient traditions, and a large, loving extended family. Her happy childhood, however, gave way to a traumatic adolescence. By the time she was 18, she was debilitated by generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. And, at 23, as a young mother in America, she struggled to free herself from the death-hold of depression.

Gayathri’s signature keynote, FINDING THE LIGHT WITHIN, takes audiences on her cross-continental journey from the entrapment of mental illness to a life of empowerment and global advocacy on behalf of people struggling with mental illness around the world.

HEALING FROM DEPRESSION: 8 Keys to Recover & Thrive

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, depression affects 350 million men, women and children around the world. Although depression can be reliably diagnosed and treated, fewer than 25% of those affected have access to effective treatment. Stigma, discrimination, lack of awareness and access to affordable care deter people from seeking life-saving treatment and social supports.

This innovative and highly interactive Wellness Workshop will inspire audiences with a renewed sense of hope, and provides a wide array of tips and tools to overcome barriers to recovery and achieve wellness.

During this Wellness Workshop, participants will:

  • Discover 8 keys to recover & thrive
  • Learn about the 8 dimensions of wellness
  • Create Personalized Wellness Action Plans

CULTIVATING WELLNESS: Holistic Practices to Promote Mental Health and Wellness

Wellness incorporates many dimensions of health, each of which is interconnected within an individual’s total well-being. Offering her recovery story as a testimonial, the presenter will demonstrate how participants can cultivate wellness by integrating a wide variety of holistic practices into their daily life.

During this wellness workshop, participants will:

  • Learn about the 8 dimensions of wellness
  • Explore a wide variety of wellness tools
  • Create Personalized Wellness Action Plans

CULTURE COUNTS: Variations in Cultural Value Systems and its Impact on Mental Health and Wellness

Culture is central to mental health and wellbeing. A person’s cultural background influences how they perceive mental illness, and how much stigma they attach to it. Culture also determines whether or not a person seeks help, when and where they seek help, their coping skills and social supports. Sharing her personal recovery story and professional experience, Gayathri will explore how culture influences recovery and reintegration.

Upon participating in this Cultural-responsive training, participants will:

  • Understand concepts of cultural legacies, and social inheritance
  • Explore variations in cultural value systems and its impact on mental health and wellness
  • Learn three tips to create person-centered, culturally-responsive, recovery-oriented, holistic systems of care

THE HEALING POWER OF PEERS

Most of us have felt the healing power of empathy when sharing difficult situations with someone else who has experienced similar distress. This principle, that individuals who have had the same life experiences can help each other, is the basis of peer support.

As a Certified Peer Specialist, Gayathri has mentored people struggling with mental health issues and their families in the U.S. and India to overcome barriers to recovery and achieve wellness.

Upon participating in this training, participants will:

  • Learn about the most essential elements of peer support
  • Explore how peer support can optimize individual and family wellbeing
  • Discover the benefits of peer support

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