For my final interview of season 3, I had the honor of interviewing Cherisse Datu, the co-designer behind the upcoming video game, The Girl Who Sees in this episode. Both Cherisse and I quickly connected over our passion in designing and creating content through digital media. Not only do we hope to encourage our listeners to let go of their feelings of guilt and discomfort from navigating in such White/ignorant spaces, we also hope that our experiences shared in this episode will inspire others to find their own means of disrupting these kinds of spaces as well.
Cherisse Datu is a video producer and game designer. She received her Masters in Game Design from American University and was a JoLT (Journalism and Leadership Transformation) Fellow studying the Intersection of Game Design and Journalism with a grant from the Knight Foundation. She's worked with ESPN’s The Undefeated, Al Jazeera’s The Stream, Extra Credits, and Fusion. She’s a game designer for The Girl Who Sees, a Filipino fantasy-adventure game. She was chosen as Google Jump Ambassador and is currently working on a VR project on Asian-American experiences and identity.
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Full disclosure: my friend Fatema and I decided to redo our first take because we wanted to make sure that you'll be able to take away everything that we've had planned to share for today's episode topic: how we as loved ones can support those who have been diagnosed with depression.
Like many other mental health disorders, depression goes on a spectrum and the issue of being diagnosed with it is interrelated to a number of factors, including one's own cultural background. Simply put, we can't deny the fact that being raised as an Asian woman makes it more challenging to initiate dialogues about having depression. Although we've touched upon the topic of depression before, I wanted to readdress it from a more third-person perspective. How do you as loved ones keep yourself engaged in these discussions of depression?
After hearing about Fatema's interest and involvements in depression prevention research, I invited her to share her findings as well as her personal accounts of how she carefully navigates within the field of research. In the research field, one cannot apply their own personal observations so easily. However, on Project Voice, we'll have the exciting opportunity to hear Fatema share her personal connections and observations about depression as well.
We hope that you find the information and advice provided to be helpful and applicable to your lives.
Fatema is a project coordinator at the Youth Emotion, Development, and Intervention Lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she manages a depression prevention study for teens. Fatema is interested in becoming a therapist, researcher, and advocate for youth from diverse cultural backgrounds who are struggling with eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. In her spare time, she loves to bake, kickbox, and travel.
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