With world mental health day approaching on October 10, it’s a good time to get positive. A great way to do this is to remove the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues. I’ve heard it expressed in this really concise and powerful way. Mental health is like physical health, we all have it. We all need to look after it.
Just as there is no shame in breaking an ankle, needing glasses, or taking heart medicine, so too for our mental health. There is no shame in needing help to think, feel and react in ways that we want.
I respect when someone with celebrity status uses their voice to help others.
Enter Lady Gaga.
Having endured less than ideal mental health at various times in her life, she began the foundation “Born This Way” to support the wellness of young people while being fiercely kind, compassionate, accepting and inclusive. She is unafraid to say that she herself has struggled, and she wants to help others so that they do not need to suffer alone and in silence. Part of the mission statement at the Born This Way foundation reads, “We celebrate the individuality of those we serve, and we revere the bravery it takes to reach out and start the conversation. Together, we’re building a community that provides approachable resources, fosters genuine connection, and drives action.”
Three very powerful ideas leap off the page when I read this statement. “Celebrate the individuality”, “Start the conversation”, and “Genuine connection”.
These ideas are all very actionable. Herein lies the extremely easy way that we can all celebrate World Mental Health Day this October. And it’s free.
Maybe we should call it “through her eyes” … in her hands,"
- what do you think?' asked Hannah Linn, Executive Director at the Bracebridge YWCA, (see more about her HERE) as we brainstormed ideas for our all women art show that we had co-conspired to plan just in time for International Women’s Day this past March.
I thought it was a brilliant name, and so was born an art show, with over 20 Canadian female artists from Ontario, Canada contributing pieces to the event.
As an artist myself, and always looking for inspiration, I wondered what inspired these other women and how they came up with their unique ways of painting. Lucky for me I was able to get to know some amazing women during the show and ask some questions guaranteed to inspire you in your creative process.