Psychosocial Measures for Asian American Populations: Tools for Direct Practice and Research

Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation

The Okura Mental Health Leadership was created through the vision of Mr. Pat and Mrs. Lilly Okura. Following Mr. Okura's distinguished career at the National Institute of Mental Health, they recognized the need to educate promising Asian American and Pacific Islander mental health professions in how mental health services and policies are developed and shaped. The Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation, Inc. was founded on October 1, 1988, and is incorporated in the State of Maryland as a non-profit, tax-exempt public foundation.

The mission of the foundation is to foster and promote education, research and services in the areas of mental health and human services. It is also to foster and promote leadership by providing fellowships, scholarships, stipends and grants for promising Asian Pacific American professionals, students and relevant and related organizations. The foundations seeks to support and conduct activities, meetings, conferences, symposiums, publications and related activities to a) stimulate Asian Pacific Americans to enter the mental health and human service fields and b) pursue and assume national and international leadership roles. The Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation, Inc. is organized exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes. It makes grants available to individuals and organizations that carry out the mission.


The Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation conducts annual leadership seminars called "Week in Washington" to provide young, promising Asian Pacific American leaders in the fields of mental health and human services to learn, experience and build on knowledge needed to be a leader in their respective communities locally and nationally. Over seventy individuals to date have benefited from this opportunity to spend a week in Washington, D.C., attending meetings with members of Congress, national leaders in areas of health and human services, administrators, of national organizations, and other national leaders or role models. Okura Fellows participate in an Alumni Association to continue their group activities. Many stay in contact with each other informally or through other professional networks. Many of the Fellows have attained advancements in their chosen fields and have furthered their endeavors by their leadership training provided by the Okura Foundation.

In addition to the annual "Week in Washington" leadership seminar, the Okura Foundation created a White House Fellowship in 1995. These White House Interns have worked under the supervision of the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. They are given an invaluable opportunity to represent Asian and Pacific Islander communities and to learn how community issues and concerns can result in federal, state, and local policy.

The "Week in Washington" leadership seminars and the White House Fellow Program have been successful due to the support and encouragement of many dedicated contributors to the Foundation.

To find out more about the Okura Mental Health Foundation and/or how to apply to become a Fellow, please contact Mr. Pat and Mrs. Lilly Okura, 6303 Friendship Court, Bethseda, Maryland 20817.