Mental Health Director

Victoria Vuong

Rush Medical College

Hello! I grew up in the Western suburbs of Chicago and decided I needed a change. I moved to SoCal to attend the University of Southern California for my undergraduate education and then moved to Baltimore to obtain my Master’s degree in Cancer and Reproductive Biology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. After working as a medical scribe in Baltimore and Boston, I decided to come back to my roots and I’m now an MS2 at Rush Medical College. During all that time, I’ve traveled many places, including Western Europe, India, and Central America. I’ve seen the need for mental health services in many different cultures and the accompanying stigma that is prevalent in the API community as well as across ethnicities. I was thrilled to be able to create a National Conference devoted towards increasing mental health awareness last year and now I’m very excited to devote this next year towards everything mental health-related!

As mental health director, my goals for the next year are as follows. My most important goal is to create a centralized database to access mental health resources for our members and other API community members – most likely in an online format. Here, everyone would be able to access a mental health handbook as well as the As(I)am; blog. Secondly, I would love to expand the blog on Facebook and other social media platforms, like Instagram. Third, to have a website of resources, there need to be resources! I want to collect various resources and create a handbook for mental health that can be distributed to our chapter members, so that they may increase awareness on their campuses.

Mental Health Director

David Yang

Louisiana State University - New Orleans, School of Medicine

Hello APAMSA! My name is David Yang and I’m a 2nd year medical student at Louisiana State University – New Orleans, School of Medicine. I started going to APAMSA conferences the year I applied to medical school and have served as my local chapters Freshman Representative and Chapter President. At the National level, I served as a member of the Mental Health Committee in the year of its inception and am now one of the Mental Health Directors for the incoming year. My goal this year is to expand on our work in mental health from last year by developing a larger presence in social media while expanding on our as(i)am; initiative. We are also seeking to develop connections with mental health programs across the nation to provide mental health care training to APAMSA members. I’m honored and excited to serve as your Mental Health Director this year and please do not hesitate to contact me for any feedback, questions, or questions!

Mental Health Member

Mikaella Ahn

University of Southern California (Freshman, Pre-Med)

Why are you interested in mental health?

Why is it that mental health is stigmatized as weak or not legitimate to combat as a medical concern? Especially in the AAPI community, mental health is usually seen as the patient’s own weakness and can be changed through "strong will" or perseverance. A patient dealing with an anxiety disorder or depression might be told to just “stop being lazy” or to “calm down”. As someone who has seen how depression can lead to suicide, I want to create awareness to alter the minds of those who think that mental health is not a real health issue.

What are your plans for the organization?

My intention is to start partnerships with USC and provide several events to the student community, such as an awareness fair or health training opportunities.

Mental Health Member

Lih-Chiao Hsu

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, M2

Hi, everyone. I am Lih (pronounced as "Lee"). I was born and raised in Taiwan until I was 15 when I first moved to San Francisco, CA. I went to high school there and then went to UC Berkeley for undergrad, majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology while doing DNA repair research and being a medical interpreter. Since then, I have been very involved in promoting the health and well-being of Asian Americans, especially within the immigrant communities. After starting medical school, I continued my passion to serve the community by becoming an officer board member at the UIC APAMSA Chapter as a health fair coordinator. Per my passion, I have coordinated 6 health fairs in different Asian communities in the big Chicago area in the past few months. By joining the APAMSA Mental Health Committee, I aim to use my experience as a medical interpreter to translate relevant mental health documents, hoping to promote the importance of mental health in Asian community. Anyways, last but not least, I enjoy cooking and making boba on my free time when not learning how to become a doctor. ^_^

Mental Health Member

Maitri Pancholy

Jefferson Medical College, M2

I joined APAMSA as an MS1 to become more connected to my own heritage and other Asian cultures and to learn about the health care challenges that face our community. In 2016, I served as President of the APAMSA chapter at my medical school, Sidney Kimmel Medical College (formerly Jefferson Medical College). I was born in Philadelphia and raised just outside of Scranton, PA, in a small, close-knit town. I completed my undergraduate education at Penn State University, where I was a pre-medical major. Outside of medicine, my hobbies include baking, cooking, running, and trying my hand at various DIY projects - some of which turn out better than others! My experience in APAMSA has been very rewarding thus far, and I look forward to continuing on in APAMSA as a member of the Mental Health Committee.

Mental Health Member

Angeline Pham

The George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, M3

I'm a 3rd year medical student at George Washington University interested in psychiatry. I became passionate about addressing mental health in the Asian community because I saw how much the stigma has prevented many individuals from accessing the help they need. Unfortunately because of this stigma, my uncle's mental disorder went undetected and untreated, eventually leading to the tragedy that turned my family upside down. Unlike most medical conditions that mainly affect the individual, mental disorders have the ability to produce a multifaceted and permanent effect on everyone around that individual with the disorder. Based on what I have witnessed, I feel it is now my duty to break down the stigma that surrounds mental health in the Asian community in order to hopefully prevent a tragedy similar to mine from happening to other families.