Suicide is the leading cause of death among Asian Americans ages fifteen to twenty-four.
But most would never guess this due to mainstream representations, which portray Asian American and Pacific Islander groups as “model minorities” in health, wealth, and mannerisms.
Stigma: Breaking the Asian American Silence on Mental Health is both a narrative account and an informative look into the world of AAPI mental health. Exposing harmful narratives, while uplifting their voices and experiences, Tanaya Kollipara sets out to bring to light how the Asian/Pacific Islander identity impacts the stigma experienced and barriers faced by those with mental illness.
Weaving together stories with research and professional advice, Stigma dispels the myths and reveals the truths about mental health and mental illness within the AAPI community. Tanaya shows what happens when fear and cultural stigmas obstruct your ability to care for yourself— and, more importantly, what’s waiting on the other side, when you take that step towards mental wellness.
Plot/Idea: Asian Americans have often been lauded as the "model minority," a damaging stereotype that does not leave room for anything but inhuman, robotic perfection, which can lead to harassment, hatred, and mental illness within the community. Kollipara artfully exposes this truth through research, storytelling, interviews, and her own insights from her lived experience. This book is as valuable as it is well-written.
Prose: Kollipara effortlessly combines thoughts, stories, research, interviews, anecdotes, and all else into a seamless, well-composed narrative. This book is simply incredible; the writing flows beautifully. The science is clearly laid out, and the voices she highlights are empowered and clear, while still being shared with delicacy and intentionality.
Originality: Unfortunately, the state of mental health of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is a topic often too largely ignored. Kollipara has taken it upon herself to focus on this truth, and done so expertly.
Character Development/Execution: The book is easy to understand, interesting to read, and is organized wonderfully.
Date Submitted: December 30, 2021