Tou SaiKo Lee, Calvin Yang, Dr. Ying Xiong, Dao Xiong
Pang Yang, Yer Yang, Dr. Alyssa Vang, Dr. Ia Xiong
Mary Vang Her, Dr. Bee Xiong-Vang, Dr. Talee Vang
About Project Tshav Ntuj
Project Tshav Ntuj is a grassroots initiative that was formed in July 2019 as a response to the suicide of a Hmong high school student. After this student’s death, his teacher (Ms. Pang Yang), music instructor (Mr. Keng Yang), and family knew they had to do something about suicide among Hmong youths. Ms. Yang’s call to action would eventually form Project Tshav Ntuj.
In the summer of 2019, a group of eighteen Hmong educators, clinicians, artists, and community
members came together to address the mental health needs and the increasing suicides in the
Hmong community. The group collectively agreed there was an urgent need to tackle mental health and suicide concerns. During that time, more Hmong youths lost their
lives to suicide and the group felt an even greater responsibility to take action. The name
Project Tshav Ntuj was formally adopted and an event to focus on mental health through artistic
expressions was initiated. Countless meetings and round-the-clock conversations were
devoted to planning the event and establishing partners within the community.
Project Tshav Ntuj held its first event “Because Tomorrow Matters” in November 2019 at
Washington Technology Magnet School. The event received an overwhelming positive response from the community, with over 700 people in attendance. Project Tshav Ntuj’s event was
viewed as a success in its ability to create and stimulate dialogues around mental health and
suicide. This event also received public coverage, including a story on Minnesota Public Radio.
Due to the wide reach of the event, Project Tshav Ntuj has been and continues to be
sought out as a resource for mental health both locally and nationally.
The response from the community about Project Tshav Ntuj’s work sends a clear and strong
message: Mental health is important and we need to do more. In January 2020, members of
Project Tshav Ntuj recommenced to plan for future goals, objectives, and projects. The mission
of Project Tshav Ntuj remains “to prevent suicide and promote mental health in the Hmong
The members of Project Tshav Ntuj are incredibly thankful to the many artists, professionals,
and community members who have been strong supporters. We look forward to continuing this
extremely important work with current and future partners.