The Mental Health Awareness Gallery
The vision of the Mental Health Awareness gallery is similar to SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) working definition of recovery that is to assist those with mental health and/or substance abuse problems to improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential by providing community resource information that can help with recovery efforts. However, the vision of the Mental Health Awareness gallery expands upon elements of this working definition in a unique fashion. That is, by creating a gallery space at the heart of Hudson, New York to showcase art and creative work by individuals in recovery from serious mental health and/or substance abuse problems. This action will lead to the de-stigmatization of mental health and/or substance abuse disorders, often a major barrier towards recovery-based endeavors, at the community level. The creative talent shown by our artists will open a door to a new way of thinking about serious mental health and/or substance abuse problems. Our team of artists and creators will prove that real recovery is not only achievable but that we are all gifted with a variety of creative talents that have been an essential tool in our recovery efforts.
As a project of NAMI of Columbia County of New York, our goal is to gather enough funds to open our own gallery space at the heart of Hudson, New York. Once complete, the gallery center will act as a space for consumers of mental health and/or substance abuse services that are in recovery to showcase their art, writing, and creative skills to the public and provide an informational base for people affected by mental health and/or substance abuse problems to give them hope, guidance, compassion, and potential solutions for helping themselves or loved ones to take steps towards recovery-based endeavors.
Some of the informational resources available during gallery hours would be in the form of educational pamphlets, various speaker presentations related to mental health and/or substance abuse recovery, and video presentations that speak on recovery topics. The site will consist of a stationary exhibit of artwork and rotating exhibits of creative artists from here and abroad. As well, it will be a shared space with NAMI of Columbia County, New York for their business needs, support groups, and educational speakers. Here, personal connections to solve the societal problems associated with mental health and/or substance abuse problems would be actualized in a friendly and stimulating environment.