Today’s episode is about Asian American women and mental health with guests Emily Wu Truong and Jessica Gimeno. You’ll hear Emily and Jessica talk about their personal stories, experiences within Asian American communities, and their mental health advocacy.
Content note: Please be aware that there will be discussions of suicide and suicide attempts. For help call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, they offer services in 150 languages and there is a chat option.
Chan, Rosalie. (September 25, 2017). Asian Americans Are Undergoing a Silent Mental Health Crisis. Vice.com
Gonzalez, Frances. (November 30, 2016). Where Are The Asian-American Mental Health Stories? The Establishment.
Jessica Gimeno is an award-winning speaker, health activist, writer, and a fighter. Her TEDx Talk, “How to Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed,” has more than 1 million views, and was named by Healthline one of the Best Depression Videos of the Year in 2016 and 2017. Jessica fights bipolar 2, myasthenia gravis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, psoriasis, and asthma everyday. She advocates for people with mental illness, chronic illness/pain and disabilities. Jessica’s website, Fashionably ill ® , is about surviving pain–mental and physical–with style and humor. Jessica is also a contributor to The Huffington Post. MSNBC filmed a 2014 documentary on her life. Jessica’s story has also been featured in NBC News, BuzzFeed, Health Central, and everydayHEALTH. She won Health Activist Hero in the 2016 WEGO Health Awards. She coaches high school debate, and has been working with Rutgers University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School since 2014 to help young adults with severe mental illness. She also works with the Heatlhcare Rights Coalition and Protect Our Care to save Medicaid and protect the civil rights of people with disabilities. Jessica graduated cum laude from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) with a B.S. in Communications and a Second Major in Political Science. While at Northwestern, she was a State Champion and National Semi-Finalist in Impromptu Speaking. In Jessica’s free time, she enjoys Pilates, New Kids On the Block, and spending time with her nephews.
YouTube video by Jessica: How to get stuff done when you are depressed, TEDxPilsenWomen
Emily Wu Truong is an award-winning motivational speaker in Los Angeles, who has worked tirelessly to address the misconceptions of individuals who struggle with mental illness. As a mental advocate, she shares her own experiences in order to advocate for children in communities of color whose voices are often under-represented. She also collaborates with other organizations to create safe spaces & encourage informative discussions on equipping advocates with the resources they need to improve the quality of life in their communities. In recognition of Emily’s efforts, Senator Ed Hernandez honored Emily with the 2015 Woman of Achievement Award, and most recently, Emily spearheaded the establishment of May 10th as “Asian Pacific American Mental Health Day” in Los Angeles County. In honor of this day, Emily was recognized for her grassroots efforts in highlighting the struggles & resilience of the Asian Pacific American communities.
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Geraldine Ah-Sue, Audio Producer
Alice Wong, Writer, Producer, Interviewer
Cheryl Green, Text Transcript
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Song: “Dance Off”
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
“Cloudbank” by Podington Bear (Cloudbank by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.)
“Lens Flare” by Podington Bear (Lens Flare by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.)
“Box Canyon” by Podington Bear (Box Canyon by Podington Bearis licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.)
“Transient” by Podington Bear (Transient by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.)