If family secrets are like dirty laundry, how can they be cleaned?

Vanessa Yee produced and directed the Laundromat Documentary to begin breaking the silence and shame in Asian American communities. Vanessa talks with Erasing Shame co-host DJ Chuang about how this film begins to address the questions around why there are too many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders dying by suicide and struggling through depression and mental health.

Show Notes

The Laundromat Documentary • streaming on iTunes

Facebook page of Laundromat Documentary

The Bull and the Badger Podcast + Like on Facebook


Oh the Shame of being exposed and rejected

Do you know that feeling when someone else shares your personal struggles or pains and you’re left feeling exposed and shamed? That is such a contrast to TFW (the feeling when) someone listens with kindness to that very vulnerable part of your feelings going through hard times.

Eunice Lee, season 1 co-host of Erasing Shame, chats with DJ Chuang about this other side of shame and why we need other people to experience the erasing of shame.


Preview of Next Episodes: July 2019 Update

A short update on what’s happening here at the Erasing Shame podcast this summer, a preview of next episodes, and how you can be an integral part of this podcast.

Show Notes

Free Webinar on July 30 with DJ Chuang, hosted by NAMI California—Grow Your Grassroots: Asian-American Communities & Mental Health

Join the production team for Erasing Shame podcast—contact us

Episodes Season 3

What could happen in 5 months? (s3e20)

Do you know how many episodes we recorded in 5 months of Erasing Shame, our longest season to date? 

Co-hosts Nancy Ly and DJ Chuang wind down Season 3 of Erasing Shame with some personal reflections and even the beautiful side of shame, if you can believe that. Listen in on good insightful perspectives about stories and creativity too.

Episodes Season 3

Lao experiences of shame in America (s3e19)

Few people know the stories of Laotians in America. Join Nancy Ly, Cynthia Khambounheuang and Bill Le for a conversation about Lao experiences of assimilation to America, and the importance of a culture centered around food, religion, and resilience.

Bill Le was voted “Mr. Lao San Diego” in 2016 and also identifies as part of the LGBTQIA Community. His background is in Critical Gender Studies and he is currently working towards a PhD in Counseling Psychology in order to provide safe spaces for mental health and HIV awareness. To contact Bill:

Cynthia Khambounheuang has a background in Human Resources, Business Management, and non-profit work. She was a Founding Member and former Membership Chair of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) – San Diego Chapter.

Cynthia shares her poetry at under her Poetry Page “NoRecNeeded”. To contact Cynthia:

Episodes Season 3

Leadership & entrepreneurship within shame cultures (s3e18)

How can leadership and entrepreneurship possibly look different within shame-based cultures? Nancy Ly chats with Brian (BJ) Kang about the challenges and opportunities for growth in leadership development from collective to individualistic cultures.

Brian Kang is a podcaster for the Asian American Voice and has been intrigued about the topic of shame in the past 10 years when he started a path of self exploration and self discovery. He also runs a business that helps therapists in private practice save time by completing their admin tasks.

Learn more about his business at and find episodes of the Asian American Voice podcast at

Episodes Season 3

What you don’t know about shame that affects you deeply (s3e17)

What is shame? How is it affecting your life and relationships? How can you be more aware of possible areas of shame in your life? Nancy and Debbie Berry discuss the “condition” of shame and how it can affect all areas of our lives, even if we may not be aware of it.

Debbie Berry is the Director of Life Skills San Diego, a non-profit program designed to give information, tools, and a safe community for individuals to walk through inner healing and developmental maturity.
For information about classes in your area, call (806) 348-7171.

Episodes Season 3

Southeast Asian-American realities of shame (s3e16)

Nancy Ly and Paul Champy get real about the impacts of shame as Vietnamese and Cambodian Asian-Americans, whose families had fled from the mass killings of war. Paul shares harsh realities and insights into the hidden stories and journey to greater individuality and independence as a Cambodian-American from a refugee family, and how Cambodians experience higher levels of shame and challenges for assimilation in America.

Acting was one way Paul was able to escape from the realities of shame. As a dancer, actor, and hiking enthusiast, he has combined his passions together by creating a YouTube show called “The After Peak”. Subscribe to his YouTube channel “Paul Champy” at

(Apologies in advance about the computer notification sounds!!)


Top Articles about Asian American Mental Health

We’ve curated popular articles that talk about mental health and Asian Americans, a topic that is usually kept in silence. (initially posted in May 2019 for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month; more articles have since been added.)

articles about mental health and Asian Americans

Suicide & Ethnicity: How Asian shame and cultural stigma make Asians prone to suicide in the U.S.” By Sam Louie, September 2019.

Why Asian Parents Don’t Talk About Mental Health (and How to Heal From It)” By Leanna Chan in NextShark, May 2019.

Why Asian Americans Struggle To Seek Therapy: Shame isn’t the only reason Asians and Pacific Islanders don’t seek mental health services. It’s a systematic problem, too.” By Carla Herreria in HuffPost Asian Voices, May 2019.

My Mental Illness Did Not Prevent Me From “Succeeding, But The Stigma Nearly Did.” By Michelle Yang in HuffPost Personal, May 2019.

HuffPost Hijacks Asian Woman’s Story on Mental Health Stigma with Racist Sub-Heading.” By Ryan General in Next Shark, May 2019.

Why It Took So Long For My Asian American Parents To Accept My Decision To Take Antidepressants.” By Erika Vichi Lee in Bustle, May 2019.

Why Are Young Asian Americans Killing Themselves? Social pressures, identity issues and mental health taboos play roles.” By Dongyao Nie in USC StorySpace Sites, 2018.

Hiding my mental illness from my Asian family almost killed me. The silent shame of having a mental illness in a Chinese family.” By Amanda Rosenberg in Vox, June 2018.

Southeast Asian Community Faces Uphill Battle for Mental Health.” by Donald A. Promnitz in The Business Journal, February 2019.

She kept losing her eyesight, and no one knew why. Then a doctor asked about her mental health.” By Aneri Pattani in The Inquirier, January 2019.

I Almost Didn’t Tell My Chinese Parents I Was Going To Therapy — Here’s Why I Did Anyway.” By Wendy Lu in Bustle, August 2018.

We’re Fine: What’s Stopping Asian-American Millennials From Talking About Mental Health.” By Kimberly Truong in Refinery29, May 2018.

We Really Need to Talk About Mental Health for Asian American Students.” By Thomas Ngo in Next Shark, December 2018.

What Stops South Asians From Discussing Mental Health?” By Sejal Sehmi in Brown Girl Magazine, November 2018.

4 Ways to Improve Access to Mental Health Services in Asian American Communities” By Connor Maxwell and Lisa Kwon, Center for American Progress, October 2018.

Confronting Mental Health in Asian-American Communities Through Testimony and Art: The Asian American Literary Review drops an interactive, experimental issue centered on Asian-American mental well-being.” By Deepa Iyer in Colorlines, February 2017.

A New Generation Of Therapists Is Fighting Asian-American Mental Health Stigma. Asian-Americans are 3 times less likely than whites to ask for mental health help.” By Rosalie Chan in HuffPost, October 2017.

Asian Americans Are Undergoing a Silent Mental Health Crisis. The stigma’s still going strong.” By Rosalie Chan in Vice, September 2017.

These 5 South Asian Men Are Opening up About Their Mental Health and Toxic Masculinity.” By Sheena Vasani in Brown Girl Magazine, August 2018.

MannMukti: New Website for South Asians Struggling with Mental Health Issues.” By Jinal Shah in Brown Girl Magazine, May 2017.

Why Asian-American Seniors Have High Rates Of Depression But Rarely Seek Help.” By Kimberly Yam in Huffpost, May 2017.

Audio & Video

South Asian women are using photography to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness” By Aneeta Bhole on SBS News Australia, September 2019.

This Beauty Queen Uses Her Platform to Ease Mental Health Stigma in Asian American Community.” By Sonia Paul on KQED, May 2019.

Minority college students might not get mental health help despite needs, study finds. The research analyzed survey responses from more than 60,000 college students at 108 schools.” By Charles Lam on NBC News, April 2019.

How I Learned To Talk To My Filipino Mom About My Mental Health” By Malaka Gharib on NPR Morning Edition, March 2019.

Chinese elders ‘walk the middle path’ to better mental health.” By Liz Tung & Jad Sleiman, on The Pulse /WHYY, September, 2018.

New generation of Asian-American women are fighting to normalize mental health treatment.” By Stacy Chen on GMA /ABC News, September 2018.

Talking about depression can be hard for Asian Americans, but services can help. Experts said isolation, social pressure, and war trauma can contribute to depression.” By Agnes Constante on NBC News, September 2018.

Among Asian-American families, stigma still grips mental illnesses” By Bethany Wang on KPCC’s AirTalk®, June 2018.

TEDx Talks

Heart to Heart” – Sydney Moondra at TEDxWilliamandMary, April 2019.

[Sydney created Dil to Dil (Hindi for ‘heart to heart’), as a public Instagram forum dedicated to eliminating mental health stigma in South Asian communities]

My Near Death Experience” – Jessie Lam at TEDxTinHauWomen, January 2019.

Successful Plan C” – Leo Huang at TEDxDiamondBar, August 2018.

Dear Stranger” – Diana Chao at TEDxTeen, January 2018.

[Diana Chao founded Letter to Strangers, a youth-run nonprofit seeking to destigmatize mental illness and increase access to treatment for youth]

The positive side of thinking about mental health” – Emily Wu Truong at TEDxYouth@DiamondBar, July 2017.

Self-Love through Self-Identity” – Eileen Kim at TEDxWoodbridgeHigh, June 2017.

Stigma Surrounding Mental Illnesses” – Tina Mai at TEDxIrvingtonHighSchool, July 2016.

How to get stuff done when you are depressed” – Jessica Gimeno at TEDxPilsenWomen, November 2015.

Shedding Light on Student Depression” – Jack Park at TEDxPenn, June 2015.

Challenges and Rewards of a culturally-informed approach to mental health” – Jessica Dere at TEDxUTSC, April 2015.


Op-ed: Intergenerational trauma affects mental health of Southeast Asian-Americans.” By Joseph Nguyen in Daily Bruin, April 2019.

When We Shouldn’t Aim to Simply Carry On: The Mental Health Stigma Among Asian-Americans.” By Jennifer Yoo in In-Training, January 2019.

Neglecting New Moms’ Health and Asians’ Mental Health: Readers discuss preventable maternal deaths and the lack of mental health services for the Asian community in New York.” Jo-Ann Yoo in The New York Times, October 2018.

Opinion: Traditional Asian, Indian cultures contribute to stigmatization of mental illness. Teenagers get mixed messages about depression and anxiety, and it’s hurting them.” By Manasi Garg in The Mercury News, June 2018.

Know of other articles worth sharing? Please add more in the comments.

Episodes Season 3

Creativity can help you overcome trauma and shame (s3e15)

Kyme Dang shares how writing, music, and creativity has helped her overcome trauma and shame, in order to live a life of freedom and full expression.

Kyme Dang, also known under her artist name Lady Dang, is a performer, songwriter, dream coach, entrepreneur, and overall creative living enthusiast. Currently working on music, you can learn more about her at