Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS Coast Mental Health art show display in Maple Ridge Public Library during August.

Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS Coast Mental Health art show display in Maple Ridge Public Library during August.

From art can grow health

Coast Mental Health display in Maple Ridge library

The month-long Art Project Roadshow will be due for removal from the walls of Maple Ridge Library at the end of the month after showing the works of 25 people who are coping with mental health challenges.

The paintings are done by artists from around Metro Vancouver, in other facilities that are run by Coast Mental Health.

In Maple Ridge, Coast Mental now operates Alouette Heights, which has 43 rooms; Royal Crescent, a temporary supportive housing complex which has 51 rooms, as well as Garibaldi Ridge on Burnett Street, which opens this fall and will have another temporary supportive housing 51 rooms, said a Coast news release.

Alouette Heights has eight full-time mental health workers and a nurse. Royal Crescent has 14 full-time mental health workers and an available nurse. Garibaldi Ridge, on Burnett Street, will have 16 full-time mental health workers and access to a nurse practitioner.

Susan Hancock, with Coast Mental Health, said that they set up the display because they serve the community of Maple Ridge. She said she’s received lots of positive response, from when the art was displayed elsewhere, but hasn’t received any comments from the Maple Ridge display.

“Art is therapeutic. It’s a powerful tool for self-discovery and health, for our members and for others,” she said.

Coast Mental Health will bring its art road show to 12 cities this year.

Sandra Yuen MacKay is one of the artists involved in the Roadshow who has struggled with her mental health since being diagnosed as a teenager with schizophrenia.

“Art has been my salvation,” says MacKay. “I’ve painted abstract works and urban scenes about alienation, angst, social inclusion and isolation, but my florals are full of joy, hope and beauty.”

As an artist with mental illness, MacKay works to overcome the stigma and isolation of mental illness that impedes her from connecting with an audience outside of the mental health community.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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