Letters to Strangers
Diana grew up living below the poverty line, working multiple jobs from sixth grade onwards to support her family.
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 13, Diana Chao founded ‘Letters to Strangers’ to help others suffering from mental health issues, following her own suicide attempts, hospitalisation and medication, stigma and cultural shame as a first-generation Chinese-American. She found healing through letter writing, starting ‘Letters to Strangers’ as a club in her second year of high school. Since then, this unique anonymous letter exchange programme, that includes therapy-informed themes and peer discussion, has reached over 35,000 people globally.
The letters create unexpected connections around the world and offer support to those going through a difficult time, letting them know they are not alone. Diana has served as a counsellor for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and the Crisis Text Chat, helping people when they are at their most vulnerable.
Diana, now 21, speaks worldwide and, despite a debilitating eye condition, furthers her creative impact through conceptual photography. Her self-portrait series went viral, reaching over two million people.