On Sunday, October 24, 2021, the UCA WAVES Program held a free, virtual screening of the documentary “Wake Up” followed by a panel discussion on mental health and suicide prevention that reminds us mental health support and suicide prevention continue to be pressing issues that impact all individuals – especially during this pandemic and for those who are vulnerable to experiencing discrimination, dismissal, and racism.
In America, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall (CDC, 2019). For those aged 10-34, it is the 2nd leading cause of death (CDC, 2019).
The documentary “Wake Up” was produced by Project Wake Up, a nonprofit organization that advocates for expanded mental health resources and eradication of mental health stigma. The documentary aims to increase awareness on suicide and encourage compassion and change.
At the core of this touching documentary is the story of Ryan Joseph Candice, a dear friend of the founders of Project Wake Up, who died by suicide. The film also follows the stories of multiple other Americans from various communities impacted by suicide. These communities include college students, the LGBTQ-plus community, U.S. Veterans, and more.
Through these stories, the film explores mental health issues unique to these communities and their relation to suicide. “Wake Up” also addresses firearm suicide and suicide preventative gun control. The film explores various perspectives and introduces strategies to prevent firearm suicide, while still taking firearm possession into consideration. In each story, we are reminded that multiple barriers to seeking help continue to exist. Lack of access to resources and stigma are only two of the common barriers.
The panel discussion occurred after the screening. The panel speakers consisted of the following mental health experts and advocates: Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Jessica Ouyang, M.D., Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Steven Sust, M.D., Family Physician Oanh Truong, M.D., UCA WAVES Youth Ambassador and Coordinator Jennifer Tu, and Master’s of Arts in Teaching student Heejae Yang. Psychiatrist and UCA WAVES Psychiatrist Consultant Sen Xu, M.D. hosted and moderated the discussion.
The panelists explored mental health support and suicide prevention, while touching on specific mental health concerns within the Chinese American community. The role of community in mental health recovery was also discussed. Panelists emphasized the positive impact of a strong support system. Some examples of support include teachers, in-school counsellors, and family. In terms of family, open, non-judgemental dialogue between parents and children was highly encouraged. Seeking help is a skill, and parents can help promote this by being the first supportive adult in a child’s life. Speakers also provided insight on institutional change that would address barriers, such as addressing the need for access to resources in light of inadequate access to resources and thereby contributing to suicide prevention.
397 people registered for the webinar from 37 states, the most registrants being from California, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, and New York. 73% had never attended a UCA event prior. 68% said they were interested in participating in future UCA WAVES events.
Visit the UCA website at https://ucausa.org/training-and-events/ for upcoming events.
2021年10月24日，美国华人联合会心理健康项目组（以下简称UCA WAVES）举办了一场以预防自杀为主题的免费讲座。在讲座中，播放了纪录片《觉醒》（Wake Up），在观影后的讲座中，心理健康专家们与听众互动，答疑解惑，一起探讨心理健康和预防自杀的相关问题。提醒我们心理健康支持和自杀预防仍然是影响所有人的紧迫问题——特别是在这场流行病期间以及那些容易遭受歧视、解雇和种族主义的人。
《觉醒》是由非营利组织“觉醒计划”（Project Wake Up）制作的，该组织倡导扩大心理健康资源，改变人们看待心理健康的态度，提高人们对自杀的认识，鼓励人们对于自杀者给予更多的同情和关注。
这部感人的纪录片讲述的都是真实的故事，影片的核心人物是自杀身亡的瑞恩·约瑟夫·坎迪斯（Ryan Joseph Candice），他是“觉醒计划”创始人的好朋友。
UCA WAVES青年大使和协调员Jennifer Tu；