A note from Jessica: As an Asian woman, I have had many lived experiences of racism, specifically in the area of mental health. This is my story. I have struggled with my mental health since I was a little girl. Being born and raised in Canada as an Asian person, I had not been aware of the subtle racism that happens all around me and to me. From micro-agressions to violence, I have experienced much racism. I have experienced racism in my personal and professional life specifically due to the stigmatization of mental health as a “model minority” Asian woman. I have been lucky to receive much professional care in an inclusive, safe manner, though this has not always been the case.
I know that I am not alone. My story, which I will share one day, is not unique. BIPOC individuals struggling with their mental health have to navigate this stigma. Specifically, this stigma causes BIPOC to be villianized and isolated from the support that they deserve. BIPOC voices are silenced when they should be heard. BIPOC people should not have to be as resilient as they are in order to navigate the intersectionality between mental health and racism. We deserve to be treated as humans, with dignity when being supported in this area.
This “Very Asian” necklace is something I made for myself as a symbol of strength. My story will unfold as I find my voice again. My lived experience with being an Asian woman struggling with mental health will be told with a strong voice as I step into my power. My story begins at a young age and continues to the present day. My story contains much pain, some inflicted by my own self sabotage, but much of it was inflicted by those who held power over me as an Asian woman when I was vulnerable. In this present moment, I am finally stepping into my own power, finding healing and wholeness, and harnessing my voice to be part of this movement for BIPOC.
I will use my voice and my lived experience to be part of a movement that raises awareness for BIPOC mental health.
Currently, I am looking into organizations to donate proceeds of this necklace to. Once I have done my research, this necklace will become available to purchase with proceeds to go to the chosen organization.