The Breaking Silences Project

The Breaking Silences Project is a multifaceted artistic endeavor that aims to educate and engage communities in open conversation about issues of mental health in Asian American women.  Driven by statistics that show that Asian American young women are committing suicide at an alarming rate, the project hopes to provide a forum to share information, fight stigma, and ultimately to save lives. 

Christina R Chan

Christina R Chan is an actor, playwright, teaching artist and director. She is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG). Christina received her theater training at Trinity Rep Conservatory, RI and the Royal National Theater, UK.

 She is passionate about creating performance pieces about Asian American women and the AAPI immigration experience. Her theater work has been reviewed in The Boston Globe and Sojourner. Christina has been featured in the Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Sampan and World Journal. She is the recipient of artist fellowships and residences.

 She is a member of the annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Mental Health Forum and a co-chair of the Design & Website Development Subcommittee for the AAPI Anti-Stigma Mental Health Campaign.

 Christina loves flowers, in particular orchids. She is a creative cook and she’s thrilled her apple tart with salted caramel sauce now gets more attention than her spouse’s artisanal bread (although–I-hate –to-admit-it).


Dr. Pata Suyemoto

Dr. Pata Suyemoto is an independent feminist scholar, writer, educator, mental health activist, and a co-founder of The Breaking Silences Project.  She earned her PhD. in education from the University of Pennsylvania and did her research on multicultural education and issues of race and racism. 

 She has spoken and written about her struggles with depression including being interviewed by The Boston Globe and Psychology Today.(

She is a member of the planning committee for the annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Mental Health Forum, a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and a co-chair for the content sub-committee of the AAPI Anti-Stigma Campaign. She volunteers for Families for Depression Awareness where she speaks to the media about her experiences with negotiating her depression. 

Dr. Suyemoto is also an artist who is particularly interested in collage and three-dimensional found art.  She is avid cyclist, and bicycle riding instructor.  During the summer of 2012 she and her partner rode their bicycles across the United States from Massachusetts to Washington State. She also writes a blog ( that explores life on and off the bicycle.