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Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

555 West Temple Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

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“Kataas-taasang pagsasanay para sa kalusugan ng mga Pilipino"

Understanding Obstacles; Charting New Paths

This training summit aims to honor and recognize indigenous understanding of wellness and healing; reduce stigma associated with emotional and mental illness; and promote community dialogue and connectivity.

NOTE: This event is free of charge to all attendees. Breakfast and lunch will be served on a limited capacity and may not be available to all attendees. Space is limited - please cancel on Eventbrite if you are unable to attend so others on the waiting list can be notified and accommodated. Thank you!

Schedule of Events

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.: Registration and Networking

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.: Welcome: Lillian Fabros Bando, MSW, J.D. and Adrienne Cedro Hament, LCSW

  • Indigenous Cultural Opening Ceremony: Virgil Mayor Apostol: The purpose of the Araraw ceremony is to open up the event by dispelling negativity in the environment, while ushering in goodness. It is one of the indigenous ways that our ancestors have participated in for millennia before colonial rule, and which also is in line with the process of dispelling malevolent spirits while inviting our ancestral spirits to commune and celebrate in the festivities. The process involves the chant, burning of anglem or incense, and providing a food offering.

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.: Keynote: Professor E. J. R. David: "So What If We Have Colonial Mentality? Mental Health Implications of Historical and Contemporary Oppression"

  • Description: "Colonial mentality” is a concept that has been floating around the Filipino diaspora for generations. But what exactly is colonial mentality? How common is it among Filipinos and is colonial mentality such a bad thing to have? In this keynote address, E.J.R. David will share some empirical data about the prevalence, operation, and mental health implications of colonial mentality among Filipino Americans."

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.: Break

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Morning Workshops

  • A) Stigma of Mental illness Panel: E.J.R. David Ph.D.; Andrea Cabrera, MSW; Gennie Samala, MSW - Mental health care has improved drastically over the last years, but many Filipino-Americans still choose not to seek treatment or stop prematurely. There are several factors that may contribute to these discrepancies with stigma being perhaps the most noteworthy. Stigma hurts people with mental illness, creating inequality and occasionally damaging consequences. In this workshop, we discuss mental illness stigma and review significant concerns to address stigma in the Filipino-American community.

  • B) “I Was Accused of Not Protecting My Child” Perspectives on Working with DCFS-involved Families - Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal, LCSW; Ana Jayme, AMFT; Shelina Miranda, ASW; Alfred Mendiola, ASW - Filipino children make up the highest number among Asian children placed in foster care throughout LA County. Family Preservation (FP) is an integrated, comprehensive approach to strengthening and preserving families who are at risk of or are already experiencing problems in family functioning, with the goal of assuring the emotional, social, educational and spiritual development of children in a safe and nurturing environment while they remain within their homes. Join a panel of former Family Preservation In-Home Outreach Counselors (IHOCs) as they explore the typical concerns of DCFS-involved Filipino families, the significance of using culturally-oriented engagement and intervention techniques, as well as the challenges and positive experiences of working with these families.

  • C) Traditional Healing Arts of the PhilippinesVirgil Mayor Apostol - The purpose of this workshop is to provide a background of the cultural, societal, and psychological foundation of the people of the Philippines and diaspora, thus providing an insight into the belief system and approach to health and well being. There still exists a strong indigenous basis to how Filipinos think and act, layered with almost 400 years of colonization that has embedded foreign ideas and practices. The presentation will be followed by interactive mind-body exercises and simple Abion/Hilot techniques.

  • D) Cultural Perspective on Mental Health - Ma. Lizabel Lozano - Filipino Cultural School (FCS) will touch upon the fundamentals of Culture and Cultural Identity. Within building one’s own identity growing up, individuals face various stressors that can affect their mental health. With the United States having a diverse community, it is essential for individuals to maintain/learn about their cultural heritage in order to have a strong sense cultural identity. FCS will incorporate the importance of service learning in cultural settings towards the promotion of positive mental health.

  • E) Living, Moving Through Trauma, Moving On - Dulce Capadocia, M.F.A. - Trauma-informed Dance/Yoga workshop will be conducted by Capadocia, Educator and award-winning Artistic Director of Dulce Capadocia/Silayan Dance Company. The experiential, movement laboratory workshop includes an intimate performance, discussion and a trauma sensitive yoga class. Informed by her dance training in somatic principles, the workshop provides a theoretical construct for how movement through dance and yoga can aid in healing and resolution in the wake of trauma and grief. Capadocia is herself a trauma survivor. NOTE: Attendees who choose this workshop are asked to bring their yoga mat and wear (or bring) loose clothing.

12:15 – 12:30 p.m.: Break

12:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Lunch & Keynote: Professor Elenita Strobel: “The Wisdom in our Bones: Kapwa as a Wellness Paradigm”

  • This talk will reference Filipino indigenous core values as cultural and spiritual assets. How can we continue to learn about this inheritance in the context of an individualistic and capitalistic culture? How does decolonization and re-indigenization provide a foundation for Wellness and WellBeing?

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.: Break

2:45 – 4:15 p.m.: Afternoon Workshops

  • F) Homophobia, Transphobia and Queerphobia within the Pilipinx Community Jade Phoenix - This workshop will address homophobia, transphobia and queerphobia within the Pilipinx community and how to bring about awareness, education and facilitate respect and empathy within our communities. As a spoken word poet, and as a Pilipinx trans woman, my work often touches on the unique ways that I have experienced transphobia from my family and how it is rooted in very colonial ways of thinking rooted in our histories and trauma. My work touches on familial relations, language and pilipinx diaspora in the states and gives rich and detailed nuanced lived experiences for the audience to connect and relate to.

  • G) Babaylan-Inspired principles of Self-CareElenita Strobel - This workshop will introduce indigenous elements and practices that we can integrate in our daily practice. Babaylan is a Visayan term for healer, ritualist, folktherapist, Intermediary with the spirit world. Indigenous communities have different names for this role, e.g., mombaki, catalonan, ma-aram, dawac. This healing tradition continues to be practiced today both in the homeland and in the diaspora.

  • H) StanD – A play to help break the stigma of mental illness – Christopher Belen Aguilar, MA and Glenda Foronda Aguilar, MFT - Family members, Christopher and Glenda, conduct a workshop together to explore their experience with bipolar disorder. Christopher’s play StanD, developed at EastWest Players’ David Henry Hwang Writer’s Institute, will be performed by a full Filipinx cast followed by a discussion about the play’s themes. They hope their testimonial along with other stories from the community strengthens the resilience of mental wellness and enforces the power of the family.

  • I) Before the Crisis Hits: Preventing Filipino Adolescent Mental Health Disparities Using Community Engagement and Evidence-based Parenting Interventions – Joyce Javier, M.D., M.P.H., M.S. and Ana Jayme, AMFT - Compared to other ethnic groups, Filipino youth are at higher risk for mental health disparities including high suicidal behavior. Yet, utilization of preventive parenting interventions to prevent such disparities are low among Filipinos. Previous research has shown that participation in Incredible Years, an internationally-known evidence-based parenting intervention resulted in improved child behavior symptoms and use of positive parenting practices among Filipino parents. In this workshop, we will describe behavioral health disparities affecting Filipino youth, discuss use of community engagement to promote participation in Incredible Years (video presentation of parent testimonials), and describe evidence-based parenting principles used to promote family communication and positive child behavior.

  • J) Mental Health Systems and an Underserved Community - Lillian Bando, J.D., MSA; Heidi Tuason, MPH; Jei Africa, Ph.D.; Bernadette Sy - There is a general recognition of the need for culture-specific services for the Filipino community, which may then beg the question of how can we move forward and think about next steps from here? This panel will gather representatives and stakeholders from various counties that have succeeded in establishing culture-specific services for the Filipino community, including the Filipino Mental Health Initiative - San Mateo, Filipino Mental Health Initiative - San Francisco, and LA County Department of Mental Health. They will discuss opportunities, challenges, and lessons learned including how partnerships between county, non-profits, and providers were formed, how funding was established, and how they are currently working now.

  • K) Creating Liberation-based Learning Spaces: Deconstructing Colonialism in Edukasyon - José Miguel Paez, LCSW; Lalaine Sevillano, CSUN MSW Student; Edward Jason Valdez, CSUN MSW Student - Filipino historian Renato Constantino wrote in 1959, “The most effective means of subjugating a people is to capture their minds.” We recognize the impact of colonialism on educational institutions and the social work profession. The model minority myth, the danger of the single story, and many other factors contribute to an educational experience that dehumanizes, marginalizes, and maintains the status quo. This presentation focuses on how teachers and students attempt to engage in creating liberation-based learning spaces by deconstructing coloniality as a way for Filipino MSW students to reclaim identity, history, language and space toward healing from historical and current trauma. Student perspectives are offered throughout the presentation illustrating the wounds of coloniality as well as the impact of decolonial thinking on their lives and professional practice. We will engage in dialogue with participants to identify effective strategies to better serve Filipino communities from a liberation-based perspective.

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.: Closing Remarks: Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal, LCSW: “Reflections on what was learned and possibilities moving forward.”

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Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

555 West Temple Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

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