Writing about Mental Health

Discussions around mental health and illnesses might have become marginally less stigmatized than before, but haven’t become any less challenging to navigate. In this panel, we invite four writers who have written thoughtfully about depression, loss, grief, addiction, and childhood trauma— Emma Hansen, Addie Tsai, and Rebecca Salazar—to share how they negotiate the complexities of mental health in their poetry, fiction, and memoir writing while honouring their own boundaries. Moderated by Lucia Misch.

Event Type: Panel
Event Code: REH/SAT-4
Venue: Rennie Hall, Emily Carr University
Date: Saturday, March 14, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Cost: Pay What You Can (recommended: $12.50)
This event will feature ASL-ENG interpretation.

**The original title for this panel was called “The Struggle is Real: Writing about Mental Health” which was crafted with the intent to push back against the diminishment of mental health struggles, which are very real. However, this panel is not composed of Black authors and speakers discussing mental illness in their community, even though the phrase “the struggle is real” originates in the Black community (and in hip hop specifically). We were unaware of the phrase’s origins when we created the event, and recognize now that it was inappropriate for us to use. We have changed the title and will work to always increase our knowledge and learning around appropriative terms and phrases**

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Addie Tsai teaches courses in literature, creative writing, dance, and humanities at Houston Community College. Her writing has been published in Banango Street, The Offing, The Collagist, The Feminist Wire, Nat. Brut., and elsewhere.

Emma Hansen is the author of Still: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Motherhood. She is trained as a full spectrum doula and offers education on the realities surrounding loss and grief.

Lucia Misch is a writer and creative facilitator with deep roots in spoken word poetry. Her debut collection, The Problem With Solitaire, was released in 2019.

Rebecca Fisseha‘s fiction and non-fiction explore the Ethiopian diaspora. Born in Addis Ababa, she currently lives in Toronto.