During the duration of our time with CORO, we acquired the amazing opportunity to interview three special individuals. In their everyday work environments, they have chosen careers paths that showcase their dedication to helping others combat their mental health issues. They have kindly allowed us to record some of the takeaways that we took from the interview, so here are some of our findings:
Dr. Kenneth Kim
Dr. Kenneth Kim (he/him) is Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at GLIDE Foundation, where he is responsible for driving the implementation of our 5-year strategic plan, GLIDE Forward, and serve as the in-house consultant to lead strategic projects across the organization. This includes ensuring alignment and direction of innovation and expansion projects with organizational strategy as well as infuse design thinking into planning activities and implementation of related activities, services, and systems.
Kenneth is board member at Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and an advisor for the Korean American Community Foundation of San Francisco. Kenneth is a clinical psychologist specializing in community mental health, foster care system, and treatment of trauma and has worked in human services for over 20 years. His volunteer, training, and work experience include but not limited to programs addressing violence prevention, severe mental illness, substance use, psychological evaluation, and crisis intervention.
Through our interview, we were able to grasp many interesting takeaways:
- The main mission of GLIDE is to alleviate suffering that is caused by poverty.
- With no certainty of earning money even after getting a college degree, mental health of adults ravage due to this.
- Mental health is a prevalent and hidden topic in the workplace.
- Peer support is a great method of supporting other's mental health.
Dr. Bre Gentile
I believe that products and services designed for users should be designed with users. I work with users at every stage of the process — every design sprint, every audit, every iteration.
I’m trained to observe, to interview, and to define emotions and preferences by assessing human aptitude and human behaviors. I’ve studied hundreds of users ranging from three to sixty-five years old in lab settings and natural environments. I have presented and published studies on user experience with chatbots and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and write for Psychology Today. I’ve also conducted research in communication competence, psychopathology, and human behavior and motivation.
I have a PhD and MS in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University, an MA in Counseling Psychology from Golden Gate University, and a BA in Psychology from Gonzaga University. I’ve worked with nonprofit, startup, and corporate clients including the Center for Youth Wellness, Google, X2AI, and MentorHub.
- It is important to include people (Closed captions, trauma-informed design)
- Listening to unheard communities is important
- Follow the 7 domains to help with mental health
Nutrition (balanced diet, don’t drink) Mental Health (therapist, faith) Mindfulness (spend 5 mins meditating) Good sleep (not about hours, going to bed/ waking up at consistent time, good mattress, pillows) Supportive relationships (having trusting friend/ person to go to) Exercise (races, teach hip-hop, Bollywood) Nature (get sun, take deep breath, nature baths, stare at nature, lower cortisone levels, lowers stress
- It takes time, but you can 100% heal your mental health
Ethan (he/him) is a part of the Chinese Progressive Association as a Youth Core Leader. There, he along with other youth members created a campaign called Our Healing in Our Hands within the Youth Mojo program. As a core leader, he oversaw the working process of the campaign, collaborated with others, and learned to strengthen his leadership skills. While conducting the interview with Ethan, we gained a lot of insight into his perspectives on mental health:
- CPA (Youth Mojo) cares about the youth community and take their struggles with topics such as mental health into account by allowing people to be able to relate to each other in order to build relationships
- As a Youth Core Leader, he took the lead in drafting committee proposals, asking for feedback from members, and being in conversations with adult decision makers.
- The Our Healing in Our Hands campaign allows youths to really be in the moment and understand that the impact they are creating, as a collective, is being utilized.
- In fact, the grassroots governance committee Youth MOJO created has been implemented into Lincoln High School in San Francisco.
- Mental health isn't something that you can often physically see, so it's important to understand there may be different situations that everyone is dealing with on their
Ethan's advice on how one can take care of their own mental health:
take on a hobby or an activity that you are passionate about
"Just because someone else’s issues are bigger, that doesn’t mean that your own problems don’t matter"
Carolyn Nguyen (she/her) is a lead youth organizer at the Chinese Progressive Association. At the CPA, Carolyn focuses on supporting youth in ways such as overseeing youth campaigns and building personal relationships with youth. Here are some of our takeaways from our interview with Carolyn:
- Mental health is interrelated with many societal issues—racism, sexism, etc.—not just one topic.
- We should not only focus on raising mental health awareness, but also social change as these topics are closely-tied.
- The CPA is not a voice for people, but an amplifier for their voices.
Episode 3 is an interview with Carolyn Nguyen, from the Chinese Progressive Association, in which we talk about her mission and thoughts regarding the CPA and mental health, as well as her personal experiences growing up.