#NADHandwave: May 2016

Some of you may know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  It has been observed in the U.S. since 1949. Its purpose is to raise awareness about mental illnesses and draw attention to important issues. Mental Health Awareness Month also aims to educate communities about psychological disorders, while reducing the stigma that surrounds them. In fact, in 2013, President Obama declared May as the National Mental Health Awareness Month.

Thus, Ginny Paja Nyholm was nominated for the month of May due to her extensive experience and involvement in mental health.  As a loyal community member, she continues to serve and advocate the deaf and hard of hearing community, especially with deaf youth. 

Hailing from California, Ginny is a proud alumnus of the California School for the Deaf Riverside. She earned her B.A. in Deaf Studies at CSUN. She worked at the Tri-County GLAD for a few years and got involved with the National Asian Deaf Congress. As a result of her journey and experiences at Tri-County GLAD, she went on to earn her M.A. in the Department of Counseling at Gallaudet University. As life would have it, she got married and had a son. After a few years, she went back to work as a part-time Para-Educator at the Cabrillo Middle School. Currently, she is the Mental Health Outreach Coordinator at the Tri-County GLAD, where you probably see her informative vlogs and blogs which are shared via social media. Her posts cover a wide range of valuable topics, from mental health to community awareness.

Her hobbies include rooting for her son at his sports games, reading, watching movies, and developing the annual family newsletter with her husband’s expertise in graphic design!

Ginny, the NAD appreciates your valuable knowledge in the mental health field and thanks you for your dedication to spreading awareness.

The NAD gives monthly #NADhandwaves to people in our community. This is a great opportunity for the NAD to recognize exemplary people or the work they do.  With such great people, the world continues to progress.  If you know someone who deserves a #NADHandwave, submit your suggestions online!


The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.