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My Story is Full of Lies

Artist: Pata Suyemoto, 60

Woburn, MA

Ethnicity: Japanese

My creative focus is spoken word and I have created a video of me performing “My Story is Full of Lies.” My piece addresses the social determinants of health that have impacted my mental health. It examines the ways that society individualizes mental illness rather than taking into account the factors outside of the individual that might drive despair and depression. This piece comes from my experience and thus it is extremely personal. I think that it is important to acknowledge that that mental illness isn’t just a matter of genetics or personal lifestyle, instead it is influenced by a number of factors including physical and social environment. When I share this piece, I think about the fact that as a person who lives with mental health challenges, it is important for me to realized that it is not a personal failing that determines my wellness. I hope that others find hope from this message and realize that mental wellness is supported by external environmental forces and internal resilience.