2012-05-17 / Lifestyles

HBH presents traveling art show

Show in celebration of Mental Health Month

MANISTIQUE – As part of May is Mental Health Month, Hiawatha Behavioral Health will be hosting the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards’ statewide traveling art show, “Creative Minds Changing Minds”, in the Manistique Public Library May 16-29.

The show features original artwork from individuals from across the state of Michigan who access Community Mental Health. The event is free and open to the public during regular library hours.

The goal of the two-year art show is to destigmatize mental illness and developmental disabilities. According to MACMHB committee members, “The arts can help break through the stigma surrounding mental illness and creating art can be helpful to people in their recovery, as well as be helpful to people with developmental disabilities in building new life skills and becoming more resilient.”

Michigan Community Mental Health Boards were asked to submit works of two-dimensional art pieces, along with a statement regarding what art means to them. A submission by one local artist, Robin Hood, was one of 32 pieces selected out of hundreds of submissions.

“My inspiration and passion for creating art began at a very young age and was due largely to the support of my grandpa Ralston,” said Hood. “He loved everything I did even when he didn’t understand it and would tell me my work was important, because it made people feel. Over the years, it became an important tool for me, a way to express the inner pain and confusion of trauma and undiagnosed bipolar disorder. In high school, I received various awards for artwork I had done, painted storefront windows throughout Manistique for a number of years, around the holidays, painted business signs and have taught art therapy at HBH on a volunteer basis, which ultimately led to my taking a chance on myself and becoming employed as a Peer Support Specialist.

Though I have been in recovery for years, I still use art to express myself and teach others how to use it to break down communication barriers in their recovery” she continued. “There is no such thing as bad art. Art is an expression of who we are, a piece of our innermost being that is put out there for the whole world to see and somewhere someone is going to connect with that piece you’ve done, because they have felt that emotion and maybe it can help them take that first step on their journey of recovery!”

On May 23, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., the Manistique Library and Hiawatha Behavioral Health will be hosting “Meet the Artist”. Join Hood to listen to her recovery story and enjoy the traveling art show.

“We are honored to be able to host this event and display the art of the people we serve showcasing how art has helped in their recovery and life skills development,” said Lisa Hinkson, Hiawatha Behavioral Health CEO. “It is a special honor to have Robin’s talents showcased, not only in Manistique, but around the state.”

One in five adults in Michigan will experience a mental health disorder during their lifetime. Many do not access any type of services, largely due to the stigma associated with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Join Hiawatha Behavioral Health in breaking the barriers and stopping the stigma. For more information call Hiawatha Behavioral Health at 341-2144 or 1-800-839-9443 or TTY 906-632-5539.

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