Saturday, July 20, 2013

Anthology of Asian Pacific Islander American Women's Experiences with Mental Illness

Our untold stories will be told.

A CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

PLEASE WIDELY DISTRIBUTE

What are Asian and Pacific Islander women's experiences with mental illness and mental health?

How do Asian and Pacific Islander women's multiple identities intersect, shape and influence unique experiences of mental illness?

How can we seek a deeper connection with our Asian and Pacific Islander American communities around issues and experiences of mental illness?

What does the journey to mental health look like for Asian and Pacific Islander American women experiencing mental illness?

Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) women experience mental illness at higher levels than that of the general population, yet such experiences have been marginalized and have largely gone untold.  These experiences, ranging from experiences of depression and anxiety, to suicidal ideation and attempts, are complex and nuanced, fitting into and not into expressions of Western medical models.  While numbers and quantitative studies have sought to capture the experiences of APIA women and mental illness, the narratives underlying such studies need to be voiced.  These experiences have also been undeservedly shrouded in shame and embodied in cultural taboos.

This anthology ("No Greater Agony") seeks to give voice to those untold stories and to begin the long process of addressing shame and reflecting health and healing.  It engages the power of story in bringing our disparate communities together and in solidarity of APIA women who have experienced pain and long sought wellness.  The nature of this project is deeply personal, grounded in the lived experiences of these women, offering space for the (re)telling and (re)claiming of diagnoses, illness and recovery.

Submissions will be kept confidentially and can be offered anonymously or under a pseudonym.

I welcome personal essays and reflections, critical essays, letters, interviews, poems, printable images and other reflections of mental illness and mental health. I encourage contributors to dig deep and find and share their authentic, courageous voice.  The anthology will be self-published, with a hard or electronic copy given for free to authors whose pieces have been chosen for the anthology.  In addition to self-publishing, other venues for publishing will be explored.

Submit pieces to:  dakilangpilipina@gmail.com

Up to 3 single-spaced pages for written work.  Please also include a brief bio of yourself.

Deadline:  September 30, 2013

Please contact me with any questions or concerns, or if you would like to contribute a longer piece.  

About the editor, Aileen Alfonso Duldulao:

I am a second-generation Pilipina American social worker and writer. I have been l living with mental illness for over 15 years and have received diagnoses ranging from major depressive disorder, to PTSD, to bipolar disorder.  I have extensive experience with institutions that treat mental illness, and with the shame and stigma that often accompanies the seeking of treatment and understanding of my illnesses.  I believe that the voices of Asian Pacific Islander American women are critical to the discourse of mental illness and are essential to the pursuit of well-being in our communities.  We have invaluable stories that deserve to be told, to be heard, to be acted on, to be nurtured, and to be cherished. 

Aileen can also be found blogging here.