For Immediate Release
July 31, 2018

Little Tokyo Service Center
231 E Third Street, G106
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Contact: changingtides@ltsc.org

Changing the Tide on Mental Health

Changing Tides, an initiative dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental health and normalizing healthy discussions within the Asian American community, will hold a free event, “CT Paint Night,” at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, 6-9 p.m.

Youth ages 14-24 are invited to channel their creativity in an activity that promotes mental well-being. The event will include a short talk with an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, an interactive painting workshop and a light meal.

Changing Tides is a partnership initiative between a youth/young adult outreach group led by founding members Teryn Hara, Max Kaito, and Moet Kurakata, Katie Mitani, Courtlyn Shimada and Ty Tanioka and Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC).

“While there are many ways to accentuate the importance of mental and emotional well-being, we believe that art is a relaxing and fun way to introduce this concept”, said Tanioka.

In May, LTSC hosted an event called Changing Tides: An Open Conversation on Compassion and Well-being, which aimed to begin an open discussion about the highly stigmatized topic of mental health. A critical component in the event’s success was an intergenerational committee of adults and young adults that came together to discuss issues affecting the well-being of Asian Americans across age and gender.

The event spawned an outreach effort, under the leadership of the youth/young adult group. According to Kaito “Although eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health can be an arduous process especially within the Asian American communities, we will be holding several additional events to slowly normalize these conversations.”

Speaker Matthew Shima is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and practices psychotherapy in the Carthay Circle neighborhood of Los Angeles. He works to support adults, couples, families, teens and children with the questions and challenges they face. He will share his knowledge in the areas of the creative and healing arts, meditation and education.

The painting workshop will be led by Brian Rojas, an artist and art educator from the San Fernando Valley. His work explores ancestry, culture, history, spirituality and the intersection of these elements. CT Paint Night is a free event, but a $5 suggested donation would be greatly appreciated. To register online, please go to https://thechangingtides.org. For more information, please email changingtides@ltsc.org.

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