Happy Chinese New Year!

Because I attend an International school in Taiwan, I get an extra week off other than Christmas break – Chinese New Year break. I think this was imposed because of the traditions such as family reunions that Taiwanese families have to keep up.

I have spent these two days finishing Jennifer Niven’s book – All the Bright Places. It has been an amazing read about a difficult topic – mental illness (bipolar disorder) and suicide – and Niven has portrayed this beautifully, encouraging discussions over the web.

As someone struggling with anxiety and wild mood swings and an advocate for disabilities and mental illnesses, I encourage you all to read this book if time allows. Mental illnesses are scary and real; fortunately, there are also numerous resources for us to seek support. Reading this book helped me learn more of the prevalence of mental illness in teens like me, that we may go to great lengths of hiding what we are going through and that we may be confused or too ashamed to speak up. People may not want to wear the labels, like depression, anxiety, and autism, because of the negative stigma attached to them, but it is crucial to recognize that these labels are the key to accommodations, treatments, and support.


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