How Letter Writing Became an Unexpected Mental Health Aid

Vice - 05-17


When Diana Chao was 13 she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Growing up just outside LA, as a first-generation Chinese-American, she says she encountered stigma around mental health within her community at the time. Her family's limited experience of the American healthcare system in turn made her diagnosis alienating. She didn’t want to burden anyone with her problems, and so she turned inward and began to write. “Letter writing to no one, yet therefore everyone at once, became my only way to unwind. Through writing I discovered my voice and it became my way of building strength, quietly but persistently,” the 20-year-old mental health advocate and Princeton University student tells me.