May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian American Pacific Islander Month. Mental health stigma affects all ethnicities, cultures, and nationalities, and Asian Americans are especially impacted during this time.

Sometimes it is difficult for members of the Asian community to speak up about their mental health due to cultural constructs and to avoid opening up old wounds. Intergenerational trauma can also play a part in the absence of dialogue amongst family members and friends.

For those in the tech industry, not only is the stress and pressure to perform at work affecting the diaspora more than ever, but it can leave a negative impact on future generations. We will have mental health professionals from our AAPI community speak on their experiences in tech, how they addressed their mental health, and how they got to where they are now.

Join us for an hour and a half of healing and community.


  • Discuss how and why mental health stigma shows up in our communities and personal experiences.
  • Develop recognition of how culture impacts our definitions of achievement and success.
  • Boost your confidence and compassion for yourself and others while on this journey of healing
  • Be a part of a supportive and inspiring community filled with like-minded folx in our Asian diaspora

About the Instructors

Katerina Jeng Photo

 Strategic Director, Co-Founder,
Slant'd & Spectacle Marketing

Katerina Jeng is an inclusive marketing consultant, activist, and creative entrepreneur. As the Strategic Director of Spectacle Marketing, she helps businesses build authentic communities through genuine connection, two-way dialogue, and inclusive content. She is also the co-founder of Slant'd, a collective of Asian Americans celebrating the journey of self discovery.

In the past, Katerina has orchestrated programs like Flickr’s first-ever 20 Under 20, launched dozens of products as both a marketer and product manager, and earned her Bachelors of Arts in English and Music from Cornell University. She's been dubbed one of the "Most Influential Asian Americans of 2017," and has been featured on Talks at Google, TEDx, Creative Mornings, CBS News, and more. When she's not working, you can find her writing poetry, tending to her plants, or loafing around with her shiba inu, Hunter.

Palak Vani Photo


Palak Vani received her Master's of Social Work from the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Palak has worked in a variety of mental health settings, including private practice, partial hospitalization, inpatient, residential and outpatient support groups. From working with individuals one-on-one to self-publishing her book, vlnrbl, Palak's dream has always been to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, leading her to launch vlnrbl, a mental health advocacy brand. Partial proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Additionally, Palak wants each vlnrbl product to give you strength & remind you that it’s okay to be vulnerable. To empower you to open up and share with others.

Karolyn Wong Photo

 Founder & Facilitator,
API Womxn Heal x Support x Thrive

Karolyn Wong is a 2nd generation queer, gender fluid Chinese American womxn of color born and raised in Oakland.

Inspired from what she learned navigating complex PTSD and how stress and intergenerational trauma show up in the body as an Asian womxn, Karolyn created API Womxn Heal x Support x Thrive, a platform for Asian and Pacific Islander womxn to heal, support, and thrive together.

As a facilitator, Karolyn does 1-on-1 coaching and workshops with Asian and Pacific Islander womxn who are struggling with unhealthy relationships to external validation, “success,” and self-worth, to lead more aligned lives within, allowing yourself permission to express your truth and needs without fear of rejection or judgment at work, at home, and in your personal lives.

Karolyn previously worked in small business finance, digital and documentary funding, and law.

Connect to Karolyn & API Womxn Heal x Support x Thrive:

Instagram: @apixwomxnhealxsupportxthrive
E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Hazel Benigno Photo

 Mental Health Program Director,
Homeless Children’s Network, San Francisco

Dr. Hazel Benigno (she/her/siya) is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and an academic-artist- activist. As an academic, her research interests center on the process of decolonization and multigenerational healing. As an artist, she creatively navigates the complexities of modern life by bringing the loving force of her ancestors’ teachings. As an activist, she aims to create healing spaces in powerfully unjust systems. Dr. Benigno is currently the Mental Health Program Director at Homeless Children’s Network in San Francisco. She is driven to see racial, economic, and social inequities addressed, and is fueled by her loving pups, tree-climbing, and desserts.

Christi Morales-Kumasawa Photo

 Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, Co-Chair,
Filipino Mental Health Initiative of San Mateo County

Christi Morales-Kumasawa (she/her) is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, who is passionate about helping people achieve wellness which is why she pursued a career in mental health, after being a journalist for almost a decade. She was born on occupied Karankawa Land, also known as Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1991, she and her family moved to the Philippines, where she finished all of high school and two years of college at the University of the Philippines. During this time, she began recognizing how the legacy of colonialism impacted her identity and mental health — something she continues to unpack to this day.

Today, she splits her time between clinical work providing therapy to school-aged youth at StarVista and advocating for equitable, culturally responsive mental health services for the Filipinx community, as a co-chair of the Filipino Mental Health Initiative of San Mateo County. She is also a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, training community members to identify signs of mental health or substance use challenges and assist folx in getting the appropriate help.

She is deeply dedicated to her mental health work and continues her passion for writing and creating through shades Magazine and Exceptional Women in Publishing (EWIP), where she is a board member. Through these platforms, she has curated panels and segments on the importance of talking about mental health, including how to responsibly report on this in the media.