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About this Project

Asians* in Focus is pleased to announce the creation of a new initiative heART’s hope, that will focus on mental health awareness and suicide prevention for Asian Americans Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. heART’s hope was started through a generous donation from the Sevelo family to honor Nicholas Fatu Sevelo, who ended his life at the age of 18. On November 14, 2020, Fatu’s family held a 5k Memorial fundraiser to honor and celebrate his life and raise awareness around suicide to prevent others from experiencing the pain of losing a loved one. They donated the funds to the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association which created Asians* in Focus to emphasize the power of healing through the use of art. In addition to the Sevelo family, the Center for Psychology and Culture donated funds to focus specifically on Native Hawaiians and Indigenous people. 

Goal of heART's hope

Prevent Suicide by:

  1. Raising awareness around mental health and suicide prevention

  2. Engaging the AANHPI community using creativity in all its forms

  3. Focusing on hope, resilience, and celebrating being AANHPI


Project Outline

We invite individuals to tell a story using any art form or creative expression to address mental health and/or suicide. It could be a painting, the spoken word, a poem, photography, music, or dance. Submissions can be one of two forms:

  1. Projects such as paintings or photographs that are primarily visual

  2. Videos that include narration, music, or other forms of audio 

a) ​If a video is submitted, please limit it to three (3) minutes

Intended Audience

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders interested in addressing mental health and/or suicide, are encouraged to apply. If you need to talk to someone you can go to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ( or call 1-800-273-8255. NAAPIMHA also has a list of community based behavioral health services that provide in-language services to AANHPI communities and other resources.


Phase I | Recognizing Five (5) Artistic Efforts with a $500 Award

All submissions will be reviewed and considered for one of five $500 awards. 

Three (3) will go to submissions from the AAPI community, in general, and two (2) will be given to a submission from the Native Hawaiian or other Indigenous community. 

Please submit no more than two (2) submissions and applicants will only be eligible for no more than one (1) award.

Selection Criteria

All submissions will be reviewed by the A*iF team. Submissions will be reviewed in terms of how well it:

  1. Addresses mental health and/or suicide

  2. Identifies the personal meaning it has to you

  3. Identities lessons learned from participating in the project

  4. Expresses a message of hope for others


Submission Deadline | Tuesday, August 31, 2021 (Extended from April 15)

heART's hope is an ongoing project that will continue to accept submissions throughout the year. If you would like to be considered for the award and recognized during May’s launch, as a part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) and Mental Health Awareness month, please submit your art by Tuesday, August 31, 2021 (extended from April 15, while the team is on break).

heART’S hope Safe Messaging

Your creative piece can be very powerful, healing, and informative. Caution must be taken, however, to use language and images that are respectful and avoid triggering trauma in yourself or the viewer.

  • Use safe and inclusive language.

  • Be trauma-sensitive overall: No works that include triggering material around sexual assault, violence, or detailed descriptions of methods of suicide will be accepted.

  • Include messages of resilience and hope.


What content is unsafe?

The Framework’s Safety recommendations for public messaging are based on research ( showing that certain types of media reports about suicide deaths may spur imitation of suicidal behavior among vulnerable individuals (people in despair or already thinking about suicide). Increased risk is associated with:

  • Repeated, prominent, or sensational coverage

  • Details about suicide method or location

  • Portraying suicide as a common or acceptable response to adversity

  • Glamorizing or romanticizing suicide

  • Presenting simplistic explanations for suicide

  • Including personal details that encourage identification with the person who died

(Taken from


Note to Artists

We believe there may be benefits to you in participating in this project including the positive feelings associated with making meaning out of a difficult time in your life and applying those lessons learned to help others. For some, there might be a minimal risk of stirring up uncomfortable feelings associated with loss, anger, and/or traumatic memories. I agree that while participating if I would like to get support I will call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I understand that I don't have to be suicidal to call and that it is there to provide support. 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741. 

If you would like to support this project please donate to NAAPIMHA

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