Emotional Well-Being Awareness Symposium

September 14th, 8:30am-6:30pm

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Wellesley Office, 93 Worcester St, Wellesley, MA 02481


A dynamic gathering of experts, professionals and community members on an issue that is rarely addressed in the South Asian Community: mental health. We are honored to have practitioners with decades of experience for the above modalities. All presentations will focus on how the modality can help foster emotional well-being. The day will start with registration and breakfast, followed by a sumptuous Indian lunch, and a social hour at the end of the day.


8:30 AM:                Breakfast


9:30 AM:                Gong Ceremony: Invocation for calmness and emotional well-being, Guru Jiwan Singh


9:45 AM:                Welcome: Usha Vakil and Gouri Banerjee


9:50 AM:                Symposium Kick Off: Cross-Cultural Factors for Emotional Well-Being, Kumkum Pareek Malik


10:00 AM:              Chief Guest: Dr. Eric Schultz, CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare


10:15 AM:              Keynote Speech: Dr. Nick Convio, President, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology


10:50 AM:             Geeta Aiyer, Founder and President, Boston Common Asset Management and INDIA New England Woman of the Year 2014


11:00 AM:              PANEL-I: Domestic Violence: Narratives of Resiliency



  • Dr. Diya Kallivayalil
  • Dr. Manju Sheth
  • Dr. Usha Tummala-Narra

Panel Description:

Domestic abuse is a hot button issue in our community, and one that we prefer not to know or talk about.  Some of this avoidance is transcultural: the subject is a difficult one. This panel will approach the subject with empathy, and present the abused individual as a complex human being, with strengths within the trauma of her/his life. We will also hear about the complexity of the whole family situation from the pecrspective of those who treat DV.  Together, the goal will be to wonder how we can stop such situations from continuing, support the people involved, and expand our empathy for all concerned.


11:55 PM:             Lunch


12: 40 PM:            Gong call for re-centering, Guru Jiwan Singh


12:50 PM:             Introduction of Honorary Committee Members, Neelam Wali


1:00 PM:               PANEL-II: Motherhood: Respecting the invisible work of motherhood


  • Dr. Kumkum Pareek Malik
  • Poonam Ahluwalia
  • Dr. Sajani Shah-Kapasi

Panel Description:

A mother spends tremendous amounts of her physical and emotional energy on the welfare of her family, regardless of what else she may also be doing. Yet, her work of Motherhood is invisible, and not even considered “real work.”  Over time, this ‘opposing reality’ of working constantly, yet feeling this is non-work, has serious implications for the emotional well being of the mother and therefore, her entire family.  This panel will discuss how to shift the perception of a mother’s work.

2:00 PM:               Crystal Bowl: Clearing and Re-centering, Bernadette Yao


2:10 PM:               PANEL-III: Precarious Manhood: Understanding manhood and men’s vulnerabilities


  • Dr. Joseph Vandello,
  • Dr. Subrata Das: SETU theater ensemble
  • Ramesh Advani

Panel Description:

This research-based presentation demonstrates that manhood requires continual social proof and validation.  It suggests that manhood is defined more by the presence of such social proof than by biological markers. Furthermore, manhood is seen as a precarious social status, hard won but easily lost. It must be earned and maintained through publicly verifiable acts. This panel will also present three short skits about the various ideas of manhood in Indian culture and mythology.


3:10 PM:                PANEL-IV: Building Teenage Resiliency in US Culture


  • Dr. Robert Evans
  • Priyanka Srinivasan
  • Dr. Matcheri Keshavan

Panel Description:

Immigrant parents have usually not been teenagers in this culture. Thus, there can be a lack of understanding about what this culture requires from our children when they become teenagers. This panel will present information about what the dominant culture requires from teenage as a developmental stage.  The focus will be on helping parents understand the demands their children face outside of their South Asian home culture.


4:05 PM:              Finale Symphony: Integration into wholeness, Bernadette Yao


4:15 PM:              Thank You, Neelam Wali


4:30 PM:              Eastern Harmony

  • Kundalini Yoga, Guru Jiwan Singh
  • Hypnotherapy, Dr. Max Shapiro
  • Healing With Sounds, Bernadette Yao
  • Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Larry Wong
  • Massage therapy, Dr. June Kong
  • Acupuncture, Yi Luo
  • Reflexology, Maura Shannon

5:30 PM:                Reception