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This paper examines the intersection between Asian American mental health and resilience tropes. While research has acknowledged that Asian Americans have disparate mental health gaps regarding mental health stigma and how Asian American young adults are the only racial group in which suicide is their leading cause of death, there has been limited study that attempts to directly convey Asian American voices beyond broad statistical or cultural generalizations. To supplement ongoing research and Asian American livelihoods, this essay conjectures and attempts to illuminate the histories, mental illness, and health narratives of Asian Americans, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, everything in between, and everything exceeding these yardsticks of quantifiability.

Through weaving the theoretical work of James Kyung-Jin Lee’s “Pedagogies of Woundedness,” the qualitative interview and narrative work of Tanaya Kolipara’s “Stigma: Breaking the Asian American Silence on Mental Health,” and the literary accounts of Cathy Park Hong, Ocean Vuong, and Kai Cheng Thom, this paper uses historiography, narrative study, and literature as the basis for ways to rearticulate what it means to attend to and care for Asian American subjects in a world that demands their hyper resilience.



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