Center for Healthy Independence

NNEDLearn 2013 Participant: Asian American for Community Involvement

Description: The Center for Healthy Independence (CHI) is a self-help center focused on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population offering culturally and linguistically appropriate services. The center is built on Wellness and Recovery concepts, with emphasis on collectivistic, group activities to promote interdependence as well as independence. The program is based on consumer needs and wants collected through consumer-completed surveys.

The program works with Medicaid consumers diagnosed with a mental illness currently receiving care from the clinic. The center’s goal is to provide non-traditional mental health services to its consumers. The program focuses on an individual’s wellness needs instead of pathologizing mental illness. The focus is also on identifying strengths, limitations and effective coping strategies.

The program’s goals include:

  • Focus on consumers’ strengths and facilitate recovery through increased socialization, improved daily living skills, etc.
  • Independence, interdependence, and community integration
  • Consumers helping consumers
  • Self-sustaining programs which will be attended and facilitated by consumers, with minimal provider involvement
  • Identify strengths through demonstration (e.g. facilitating cooking class)
  • Incorporate activities that are relevant and practical
  • Build community with ongoing groups that are language- and ethnicity-specific
  • Build community through shared interests and activities
  • Increase daily living skills and improve coping skills through active participation
  • Meet consumers at their levels of functioning
Population of focus: Asian American and Pacific Islander Medicaid consumers.

Setting: Community health center

Level of Intervention: Individual, Community

Background: CHI was launched in 2009. The program was part of a re-design of mental health services in Santa Clara County, CA, with a focus on peer-oriented and community-oriented services.


Laurie Leung, PhD
Associate Director of Mental Health

Kyle Yamasaki, LMFT
Adult/Older Adult Program Manager & Clinical Supervisor