The Full Story

Asians* in Focus is an initiative created by NAAPIMHA in recognition that mental HEALTH takes many forms. We decided to create a space dedicated to the purpose of telling AANHPI stories, using the full range of artistic expression.

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Asians* Unmasked

Asians*Unmasked: A PhotoVoice Project highlighting stories of Asian American, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders during the time of COVID-19. The project was created by a small group of Asian American women from across the United States, who wanted to address the mental health impact of COVID-19.  The emotional stress was caused by not only health and economic concerns but also the rising ant-Asian sentiment from those who blame Asians for the pandemic.  The project was launched in May 2020 in acknowledgment of May as both Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month. AANHPIs around the country were invited to submit photographs and answer three questions: 1) How would you describe your image to someone who may be visually impaired;  2) What does your image mean to you and  3) Based on your COVID-19 experience, what changes would you like to see in the world around you? 

heART's hope

Asians* in Focus is pleased to announce the creation of a new initiative heART’s hope, that will focus on mental health awareness and suicide prevention for Asian Americans Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. heART’s hope was started through a generous donation from the Sevelo family to honor Nicholas Fatu Sevelo, who ended his life at the age of 18. On November 14, 2020, Fatu’s family held a 5k Memorial fundraiser to honor and celebrate his life and raise awareness around suicide to prevent others from experiencing the pain of losing a loved one. They donated the funds to the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association which created Asians* in Focus to emphasize the power of healing through the use of art. In addition to the Sevelo family, the Center for Psychology and Culture donated funds to focus specifically on Native Hawaiians and Indigenous people. 

Goal of heART's hope is to prevent Suicide by:

  1. Raising awareness around mental health and suicide prevention

  2. Engaging the AANHPI community using creativity in all its forms

  3. Focusing on hope, resilience, and celebrating being AANHPI

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