Thursday, September 16, 2010

What is The Breaking Silences Project?

Breaking Silences Project: Speaking the Unspeakable

A Call for Stories of Asian American Women and Girls and Mental Health

According to a National Alliance of the Mentally Ill fact sheet:

  Asian American women ages 15-24 have a higher rate of suicide than Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos in that age group.

• The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls reported that Asian American adolescent girls had the highest rates of depressive symptoms of all racial/ethnic and gender groups.

Yet we rarely hear about these girls and young women.  We don’t know their stories.  The silence around these issues is deafening.

We propose to break this silence by collecting stories of Asian American women and girls and their relationship with mental health issues and the mental health system for eventual publication and incorporation into a dynamic theatre piece on this subject.

If you are an Asian American woman who as an adolescent:
-          Suffered with depression or anxiety
-          Considered suicide
-          Had “emotional issues”
-          Was diagnosed with a mental illness

And you want to break the silence and tell your story.  We encourage you to contact us.

If you do not consider yourself a writer already, you can become one by joining us in a writing workshop to work on writing our stories about these important issues.  

If you are a writer, we encourage you to write and submit your story to us.

To contact us, you can e-mail Pata at

Pata Suyemoto, PhD. is an educator, writer and independent scholar who has suffered with depression since she was twelve years old.  She attempted suicide at seventeen and was hospitalized.  She has spoken publically about her depression for radio and print and was profiled in Psychology Today in 2009.   

Christina Chan, is an actor, playwright and teaching artist who uses theatre to wrestle with her own “emotional issues”. She co-wrote and co-performed an award winning show called “Bobby Pins Up Your Nose: Asian American Women Speak Out on Body Image” The title refers to when she was eight years old she put bobby pins on her nose to shape it into a Caucasian nose.    

No comments:

Post a Comment