Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This Saturday is FALLING PETALS, an inspiring event exploring mental health issues and suicide from Asian American perspectives.  

Join us! The event begins with refreshments and an multi-lingual art exhibit at 1:00 pm, including artwork by artist Alfred Li Tsao; followed by a performance at 2:00 pm. 
Arrive by 1:30 pm to secure your spot. For details on location and how to RSVP, click here.

In anticipation of FALLING PETALS this Saturday, I reached out to Jae Jin Pak of AASPI to learn a little more about how AASPI was founded.


The purpose of The Asian American Suicide Prevention Initiative (AASPI) is to reduce suicide in Asian-American communities in Illinois through education, training, advocacy, and research initiatives.  

Jae Jin Pak, the Board Chair of AASPI, says:
  “There is a myth of Asian-Americans as the ‘model minority’ – and pressures from within our community to stay silent and maintain this illusion. But we, like all other communities, experience mental health challenges and stresses including violence, substance abuse, and suicide.”

FALLING PETALS will help to break the silence and generate conversation about these issues.
AASPI was formed in 2005 by a group of survivors, researchers, clinicians and advocates in the Greater Chicago area, who were alarmed not only by the rate of suicide in the Asian community, but also by the intense stigma associated with suicide. 

This stigma and lack of culturally competent services in the community have created barriers for individuals who are at-risk for suicide, and for families who are either coping with depression in their loved ones, or reeling from the after-effects of suicide, to access appropriate interventions. 

Since AASPI's founding, and with the help of an increasing number of volunteers and new board members, AASPI has been able to work on realizing the goal of suicide prevention by implementing educational events and research activities that focuses on the Asian community.  AASPI achieved 501c3 non profit status in late 2008.

Here at Erasing the Distance we have been inspired and thrilled by this collaboration with AASPI. I'm looking forward to a public performance of FALLING PETALS this Saturday. To join us on Saturday, RSVP to

Wishing you a healthy day,
~ Oriana

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