Kokoro Kara – From the heart

For Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities, integration of mental health and behavioral health is an important strategy to improving quality of life. Change Matrix partnered with National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA), to bring its Wellness Coach project, Kokora Kara, to scale. The overall goal of Kokora Kara, Japanese for “from the heart”, is to address health equity through a whole health approach – mind, body, and spirit. As AANHPI also face workforce shortages in the number of providers who have the clinical, cultural, and language capabilities, the focus of Kokoro Kara is to train bi-lingual paraprofessional Wellness Coaches who can address the unique cultural and language issues that impact their mental health and overall health.

The Kokoro Kara curriculum is a cultural adaptation of the Peer Support Whole Health & Resiliency (PSWHR) Training Curriculum, created by the Appalchian Consulting Group, Inc. The Kokoro Kara training includes: 1) Cultural introductions and an overview of the relationship between mental health and physical health, 2) discussion of 3 life domains – body, mind, and spirit – and 10 associated life elements and 3) The Five Keys to Success.

To date, Kokoro Kara has trained over 100 Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) consumers and para-professionals to become Wellness Coaches.