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Mental Health Arts Festival Honors Artists Living With Mental Illness

Artwork by Chloe Palmer

Kicking off Mental Health Awareness Week, local artists who are living with mental illness will showcase their beautifully crafted paintings, sculptures, jewelry and more at the 22nd Annual Mental Health Arts Festival on Saturday, October 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at De La Guerra Plaza.

The free event is hosted by the Mental Wellness Center, a private, non-profit organization providing recovery, education, and family services to adults and families affected by mental illness.

Through connecting the community with these local artists and their creative expressions, the Arts Festival seeks to raise awareness and help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, which is often a major barrier for individuals seeking help when they need it.

“The Mental Health Arts Festival is an exciting day that offers people living with mental illness an opportunity to express themselves and share their unique talents with the community,” said Annmarie Cameron, chief executive officer of the Mental Wellness Center. “Mental illness affects the whole community and, like any other chronic disease, it requires treatment and support. Our goal is to educate the community and help remove the mental health stigma that delays and often prevents so many individuals from receiving care.”

Since 1990, mental health advocates nationwide have joined together during the first week of October – Mental Health Awareness Week – to strengthen communities and educate the public about serious mental illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The Arts Festival will feature a variety of artwork including paintings, drawings, music and poetry readings. The event will also offer educational materials focused on mental illness, treatment options and community resources. Guests will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for $1.00 per ticket, for the chance to win gift certificates from local businesses.

For more information about the event, please call the Mental Wellness Center at (805) 884-8440 or visit

September 30, 2015

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