Changing Tides’ Alan Hino Talks AAPI Mental Health, Uniting Causes with Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts, in Open Letter to Community - Little Tokyo Service Center

Changing Tides’ Alan Hino Talks AAPI Mental Health, Uniting Causes with Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts, in Open Letter to Community

In an open letter to his community, CT Crew Member, Alan Hino, reflects on his personal mental health journey as a Japanese American and the impact of connecting with LA Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts, over Changing Tides’ mission of supporting mental health in the AAPI community.

Read Alan’s letter below:

To my AAPI community and fellow mental health advocates,

About 17 years ago, my battle with depression and anxiety began. Growing up in the JA (Japanese American) community as a male athlete, I often suppressed my struggles due to cultural and societal stigmas that told me I needed to be tough. I believed my struggles were shameful and that I had to ‘power through it’ and ‘man up’.  I felt I had nowhere to turn to when I needed support, because back then, I didn’t know how to ask for help. I suffered in silence for many years before my cousin helped save my life by providing the support I needed. 

My experience with mental health eventually led me to discover Changing Tides (CT). After finding them on social media, I resonated with their mission, reached out, and got involved. Four years and countless meaningful experiences later, I’m now a member of the CT Crew* and committed as ever to supporting mental health in my community. Spreading awareness makes a difference, and I’ve seen the change that it can make, especially when you see yourself represented. 

As part of the CT Crew, I recently met LA Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts. Dave serves as an honorary committee chair of Changing Tides, and has been fully supportive of CT’s various mental health initiatives. Earlier this year, I attended the Dodgers’ Spring Training with Changing Tides, and got to talk to Dave about why mental health matters. As a Japanese man with a seasoned career in professional athletics, Dave Roberts shared about his experience with mental health struggles and acknowledged the same stigmas I faced based on gender, culture and athletic performance. And I felt seen. It seems unreal for a JA kid who grew up idolizing Hideo Nomo to have his home team’s manager become such a strong advocate for mental health change. 

At that Spring Training visit, Dave shared passionate words with the CT Crew:

“I truly believe that Changing Tides and the LA Dodgers are aligned on opening up the conversation about mental health to ensure needed access to treatment and care. I am so grateful for everything that Changing Tides is doing to reduce mental health stigma in the AAPI community, and I am so proud to be connected with an organization that is saving lives.”

Hopefully, with people like Dave Roberts and organizations like Changing Tides leading the way, we can change the conversation about mental health in LA and beyond.

Taking care of your mental health is not shameful, it’s not something you can ‘power through’, and it doesn’t require you to ‘man up’. If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, isolated or lost, you’re not alone. And you don’t have to go through it alone. In fact, channel your inner World Series champion, and reach out for help.

As we approach Changing Tides’ second annual Ripple Effect: Walk for Suicide Prevention, now is the time to challenge ourselves to open up the conversation about mental health. It’s up to us to break the cycle and end the silence, so join us on June 24 to learn more about Changing Tides, to stand with your community, and to support positive change. And last but not least, Go Dodgers!

Alan Hino

CT Crew Member

*CT Crew Members are volunteer organizers who power Changing Tides’ work. Changing Tides is a program of Little Tokyo Service Center.

Here are some ways you can get involved:

  • Register for Changing Tides’ Ripple Effect: Walk for Suicide Prevention on June 24 at CSULB to support suicide prevention resources, like our CT Anchor initiative
  • Connect with Changing Tides on Instagram or Facebook to engage with the CT Crew and meet a community of like-minded individuals 
  • Sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with Changing Tides’ and our upcoming community events
  • Stand up and speak out about mental health awareness in your own networks and communities. You can create a ripple effect and change the tide on mental health.
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