Presence, an affiliate partner of Presence Quotient Canada™, celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a Thanksgiving Luncheon held at Almansor Court in Alhambra, California, U.S., on September 9th, 2023. Praise the Lord that the event hosted close to 300 guests! Many Christian and community counseling providers and professionals attended along with 8 local, state and federal US government officials, including US Congresswoman Judy Chu. Congresswoman Chu thanked Presence for its outstanding work in the past 20 years. She thanked us for providing mental health resources in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin and for helping the Chinese community heal after the tragic shooting event in January 2023.
At the luncheon, we also announced the winners of our 2023 Scripture Creative Expression Contest from the 24 entries received this year. Presence Founder and CEO, Dr. Agnes Ip also shared about how God has worked in and through Presence over the past 20 years to help multiple generations through their various training programs including its Presence Life Planning Curriculum, Healthy Dialogue Program, and Presence Possibilities Assessment Services. Presence also announced the launch of its new Presence Seed Program to equip the next generation of leaders.
Right after the luncheon, Presence hosted a free Mental Health Awareness event to raise public awareness about the importance of reducing mental health stigma and enhancing prevention for the Chinese community. This event contained two parts – a panel discussion and information booth exhibition. Over 200 people (including around 60 guests from the local community who came to the afternoon event exclusively) attended this event, and the response was very positive. Mr. Alan Fang, Deputy Director of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, also came and gave his appreciation to Presence.
The mental health info exhibition provided many resources including depression and anxiety onsite screenings, a mental health therapist Q&A booth, and so on. All materials were available in English and Chinese. Three community organizations also came to provide mental health information and referrals: Chinatown Service Center, Asian Pacific Family Center, and Herald Christian Health Center.
The panel discussion was conducted in Mandarin and Cantonese. Ms. Nicole Chan, Clinical Supervisor of Chinatown Service Center, first shared about “Rebuilding Post-Trauma Physical and Mental Health.” She explained the physical and mental symptoms of trauma, effective and healthy relief methods, and how to help yourself, your family, or your friends seek timely treatment. Dr. Eugene Yong, iMpac+ Behavioral Medicine Founder and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, presented on “The Presence Present.” He advocated for the integration of body, mind, society, and spirit and emphasized strengthening the church’s support network and self-care. Dr. Young also encouraged everyone to follow the doctor’s instructions, use medications appropriately, and use them in conjunction with other therapies, and not to treat medication as a “last resort.” Last but not least, Dr. Agnes Ip shared about “Mental Issue Prevention and Healthy Multigenerational Family Relationship.” Dr. Agnes proposed that mental health protective factors are multifaceted and include individual, family, and community aspects. As for Chinese-American families, the main protective factors for mental health are self-identities and resolving cultural differences and conflicts through building harmonious intergenerational family relationships. Dr. Agnes then introduced a series of methods to help Chinese parents strengthen their relationships with their children.
For the past 20 years, with God’s guidance, Presence’s services have evolved; from parenting workshops to mentorship programs, conferences, and mental health support, our journey has always aimed at holistic development and faith formation. May God continue to use Presence to walk with intergenerational leaders, families, and communities to train up the next generation for many more years to come.
Presence Quotient Canada™, an affiliate partner of Presence, is a non-profit organization that has supported Christian and family values since 2021. We aim to raise up a new generation for the cultural mission — equip individuals and families to bridge the cultural and generational gaps and to live a unique life with wisdom.
Please click here to watch Presence’s 20th Anniversary Celebration and Chinese Mental Health Awareness Day live streaming