May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we want to be part of the movement to destigmatize mental health issues, and help be a part of the conversation to shed more light on this important topic.
Historically, mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, mood disorders (along with many others) were ignored, shamed, and not talked about. This needs to change for the health of our communities.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates that about 18% of the American population suffers with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, and only a small percentage of those are receiving treatment. The number of children dealing with anxiety is even higher, at 25%.
Last month we hosted ImpactART featuring the works of Boz Schurr. The work in this show was a departure from her previous work, which is characterized by bright colors and whimsical patterns. In our interview with Boz, she explained her new direction came from recent experiences with her own mental health challenges.
“In the summer of 2017 I was at an artist residency in Iceland and I experienced a severe depression and had frequent and severe anxiety attacks which I had not experienced since college. […] It was a completely surreal, almost out-of-body experience to be aware of what you’re going through and still be completely unable to change your feelings in the moment.” Boz explained that, “[The] current work is addressing that experience – the ebb and flow of our mental stability and how it really affects everyone.”
During the opening of the show there were posters placed around the exhibit that posed important questions focused on mental health. These give us some great ideas and insight for how to be more aware of mental health issues in our community, and how to be a better ally and friend to those that might be (invisibly) suffering.
Each Friday we host an open house to showcase Boz’s work. Anyone is welcome to drop by on Fridays between 9am and 5pm. Check in with our host and enjoy the art – hopefully it will spur further conversation with your friends, family, and coworkers about this important subject.