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Asian American Civic Association student photography exhibit explores mental health issues

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  July 24, 2013 01:40 PM

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The Asian American Civic Association will display the work of nine high school and college students in its “Capturing Community Wellness through Photovoice” photography exhibit, the association announced.

Photos in the exhibit, created over a one-year period of community collaborations and personal creativity, offer the Asian-American teens' visual interpretations of mental health issues, the association said in a statement.The association will open the week-long exhibit with an installation ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24.

The association’s Youth Council collaborated with the Malden-based Chinese Culture Connection and the Institute for Community Health in Cambridge on the project, it said. Shalini Tendulkar, a scientist at the institute, praised the teens’ work.

“Their commitment to this project, above and beyond their school work and activities is admirable,” Tendulkar said in the statement. “This project has collectively taught us so much about how Asian youth think about mental health and wellness and how invested they are in leading conversations in their communities around what is often considered a stigmatizing topic.”

In April, the students were presented with the 2013 Distinguished Service in Mental Health Advocacy Award from the Families for Depression Awareness, the association said. Julie Totten, president of Families for Depression Awareness, also gave the students high marks.

“We were so impressed by the creativity and honesty that radiates from each photo,” Totten said in the statement. “We wanted to honor the teens for their willingness to explore what can be a taboo topic in their culture.”

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Downtown on Twitter: @YTDowntown.

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