Asian American Youth Raise Awareness On Mental Health at Second-Annual Long Beach Exhibition, Open Till Aug. 31
By Staff Reports
May is both AAPI Heritage and Mental Health Awareness month, making it the ideal time to talk about the struggles the AAPI community – and especially Asian kids and teens – experience with mental health. In response, the founders of anti-Asian hate initiative Make Noise Today (MNT) met yesterday with members of the community in Long Beach to launch their annual student art exhibition and open a conversation about how AAPI youth’s mental health needs can be best met.
The launch of the ‘Bring the Noise’ annual exhibition took place at the Billie Jean King Library in downtown Long Beach, where the works will be on display for free viewing by the public till the end of August. MNT founder and CEO of partner agency Intertrend, Julia Y.C. Huang said, “We’re honored to launch this exceptional exhibition and raise the voices of the AAPI community to ensure they are heard. Historically, the AAPI community has been less inclined to speak openly about mental health challenges. But if we promote an understanding of cultural nuances, we will be better able to address the challenges they face.”
The event began with a thought-provoking panel discussion that shed light on the unique challenges that AAPI youth face concerning mental health and emphasized the significance of addressing these challenges. According to panel participant Dr. Ioana Pal, a child psychologist from MemorialCare, “The American Psychological Association has shown that despite a 17.3% overall lifetime rate of developing a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, the AAPI community is three times less likely to seek help than their white counterparts.” Event sponsor Jerry Won from Dear Asian American Podcast added, “AAPI youth across the country are becoming much more open about sharing their stories and fighting the stigma that keeps the older generations of the AAPI community silent.”
The ‘Bring the Noise’ exhibition explores the mental health challenges of AAPI youth
The panel was followed by an exhibition showcasing works from Asian American youth that explores mental health themes. This year’s contest encouraged students to explore how they can establish healthy self-journeys regarding mental health. A total of 52 submissions were selected to form part of the exhibition.
“The student submissions provide insight into the internal battle that many in the AAPI community face regarding mental health,” shared Millie Liao, founder of Youth Against Hate. “They offer a glimpse into their culture and experiences, allowing us to gain a deeper understanding which leads us to engage in more transparent and sincere conversations.”
Out of more than 300 submissions, 10 were awarded a cash prize – a total of $10,000 was given out to the winners. The winning submissions are now part of a live and virtual exhibit in Long Beach through the end of August and will be seen by more than 70,000 visitors over three months. The winning student submissions announced last night included:
- Grand winner – Grace Sowon Park, (Missouri City, TX) – “The Marionette”
- Gold – Taylor Nicholoff, (Chicago, IL) – “The Day that I Brought Vietnam Home”
- Gold – Hyunyoung Mo, (Wheeling, IL) – “The Masque of Contemplation”
- Silver – Jupiter Zimmerman-Yang, (Houston, TX) – “Dear Popo”
- Silver – Reihinna Harris, (Philly, PA) – “Lost Cause”
- Silver – Rui Xu (Amy), (Mount Prospect, IL) – “Tanghulu”
- Honorable Mention – Lila Mankad, (Houston, TX) – “Night Walks”
- Honorable Mention – Michelle Woo, (La Habra, CA) – “Skeletons in My Closet”
- Honorable Mention – Lauryn Kinsella, (Culver City, CA) – “Carbon Copy”
- Honorable Mention – Julia Howe, (San Francisco, CA) – “We are Running Side by Side, Popo”
The exhibit will be open from May 5 to Aug. 31 at 200 West Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Billie Jean King Main Library). Paid parking is available in the Civic Center Garage, or metered street parking is also available. Additional parking options can be located by visiting www.parklb.com/parking-lotsgarages/downtown-parking/.
To date, the exhibition has raised more than $31,500 thanks in part to the generous financial support of MemorialCare, Dear Asian Americans, TeachAAPI, WillowTV, Always Be Creating, The Jarchi Show, Major League Cricket, ODK Media, Datawrkz, Sabio, Influential, Admaru, Long Beach Public Library, Youth Against Hate, Teach for America, Act to Change, and Parents are Human.