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Tackling the mental health stigma with art

HARTFORD -- Artists from across Connecticut are using their talents to highlight some of their challenges. It’s all part of a new exhibit in Hartford that’s addressing mental health.

Inside The Hartford art space gallery each creation has a story to tell and many of those stories are difficult to share.

“I got into mental health through the juvenile justice system, and I have had a lot of labels put on me,” says artist Karen Wilkie.

The new display is part of Mental Health Connecticut’s Mending Art program.

“The goal here Is for our mending art participants with mental health Connecticut to be able to connect with them selves, through the studio time they spend, and then to be able to connect with the community through the art,” Says mending our coordinator Amy Smith.

Carol Gee has struggled with her mental health and is one of the artists with work in the show. “I like the finished product and other people like it to, it makes me feel good makes me want to keep doing more,” says Gee.

It’s estimated that one in four people have experienced some kind of mental health issue. This show is allowing artists to show they are more than their struggles through their work. “It’s also an opportunity for the community to be able to connect with our artists and learn from one another, and help break some stigma around mental health issues,” says Smith.

160 artists From across Connecticut have work lining the walls at ArtSpace.

The Mending Art program is really great, It helps me get over my mental health issues and give me something to do,” says artist Joe Cintia.

And these artists want people who are struggling To know that help is available and healing is possible.

“You are Not subject to depression, you can overcome it and it doesn’t have to be something, that hovers over you, you can hover over it, and just let everyone know that you are not stuck to the stigmas that people put on you,” says artist Ande’Ja Johnson.

The mending art exhibit is on display through October 27. Click here for more information.

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