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Severe Mental Illness and Dismantling Mental Health Barriers: Culturally Responsive Strategies for Supporting Asian Americans

November 27, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am HST

This workshop will present a detailed description of severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia spectrum disorders and review their impact and current findings among Asian American individuals and families. An in-depth discussion of prevalent barriers to mental healthcare among Asian American communities will be provided, such as mental health stigma and misinformation. Prevailing myths and misconceptions about schizophrenia, psychotropic medications, and psychotherapy will be explored and reviewed. Strategies will be provided on micro, mezzo, and macro levels for behavioral health practitioners, clinical social workers, community advocates, academic researchers, and family members and loved ones regarding supporting Asian American individuals with severe mental illness and de-stigmatizing mental health at large. Techniques for treatment engagement, initiating and receiving services, contributing to community anti-stigma efforts, and other suggestions for engaging with Asian American clients on multiple levels in social work practice will be provided.
What will participants learn?

  • Detailed overview and information about severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia spectrum disorders
  • Exploration of prevalent barriers to mental healthcare such as mental health stigma and their impact on Asian American communities
  • Myths and misconceptions about prevailing stereotypes and misinformation about severe mental illness, psychotropic medication, and psychotherapy
  • Strategies for building trust and engaging with Asian American clients with severe mental illness in therapy, including for clients with anosognosia (lack of insight)
  • Suggestions for supporting Asian American families impacted by severe mental illness on community, research, and organizational levels
  • Resources for schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Who should attend?

  • Behavioral health providers, professionals, and trainees
  • Asian American social workers and community leaders
  • Community members interested in learning more about mental health
  • Asian American local and community-based organizations
  • Academic researchers and scholars interested in areas of Asian diaspora mental health
  • Family members, friends, and colleagues who may know someone impacted by severe mental illness


This event has passed. You can watch the replay on our YouTube, or here on the website.

Workshop Presenters

Juliann Li Verdugo (she/her) is a licensed clinical social worker and a trilingual first-generation Chinese American from San Diego, California. She is currently a Ph.D. student studying social welfare at the University of Washington, focusing on research areas of racial and ethnic health disparities, Asian American and Latinx mental health, severe mental illness, and culturally responsive service delivery.


Juliann received a Bachelor of Science in clinical psychology from the University of California at San Diego (2017) and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan (2019). She has led and contributed to various research projects focused on topics including schizophrenia spectrum disorders, psychosis, caregivers of individuals with severe mental illness, and intervention development and testing.


Prior to starting her doctoral education, Juliann worked for over 3 years as a clinician with a group practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan, providing outpatient psychotherapy services to adults of color. She also served as the project coordinator for a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded grant conducting community-based participatory research on suicide prevention for adults with schizophrenia in a community mental health setting.


On a personal level, Juliann loves traveling, walking in nature, playing video games such as The Legend of Zelda, and spending time with her husky Strider. She is excited to collaborate with the ‘Ohana team and looks forward to her future work with Asian diaspora organizations and communities.


November 27, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am HST
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