Katella High School
I chose this category because growing up in a traditional Filipino household meant that I grew up thinking that mental illness was something that a person did to themselves. When my aunt and cousin had their psychotic episodes, my family would deem it as their fault and let it go on for too long. Through this project, I eventually learned that it was a common Filipino stigma and not just something my family made me believe. In 2018, the Philippines finally passed the first mental health bill to provide funding for treating mental illnesses, which is extraordinary considering how long the U.S. has worked to overcome this stigma. Unfortunately, many older generational Filipinos still pass down this mindset to their children, who in turn don’t ask for help when they need it. Seeing and experiencing this first hand, prompted me to make this film for my fellow Filipino-Americans.