Mental Health and Art in Langley July 10, 2019 – Posted in: Uncategorised – Tags: , , ,

Here’s an interesting story from the Aldergrove Star about a project that helps people with mental health issues through the use of art. In a project they’re calling the ‘Art Project Roadshow‘, Coast Mental Health (CMH) is sponsoring a program designed to enable their clients a chance to express themselves through public art exhibitions. From May through October of this year, 16 of their patients will be exhibiting their artwork at 12 different public venues across the Lower Mainland. Visitors can expect to see between 10 to 40 paintings at each exhibit. For interested Langley residents, the program includes two sites in your area: the City Hall Library in July, and the Murrayville Library in August.

Art As Therapy

For example, one of the participants, Jerry LaFaery, said he wants to convey with this project what he is unable to do with speech. “I feel really good about participating in Art Project Roadshow. This show allows for an alternative form of communication to take place between groups that many times have challenging stigmas attached to them.”

When LaFaery was struggling to find affordable housing, he worked with CMH staff to find a home. He is now a multi-disciplinary artist who paints, acts, and sings for a living. “The work I’ve chosen for the roadshow is [called] ‘loud.’ There are lots of secrets to find in the pieces, and hopefully that’s the fun part for the viewer to work out. There are no right answers by the way,” LaFaery explained.

CMH helps people with mental health issues at 2 locations in the Lower Mainland. In Langley, their Nair Place property is a 25-bed residential facility that offers assistance with both physical and mental health needs.

Nair Place manager, Phil Lewinson, says art is a great way for their patients to heal after a health issue has altered their life. “The result has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am so proud to see the support the project has received.”

In fact, Art therapy is a well-recognized tool that’s been shown to help people with mental health issues, including PTSD. The Art Project Roadshow walks members through the exhibit process, with an aim to developing better communication and organizational skills. In total, there are thirty pieces of artwork on display, produced by members of the Resource Centre in Vancouver. Learn more about the artists here.

For more information about the artists, and where their artwork can be see throughout the year,  visit www.coastmentalhealth.com/art-project-roadshow.

The current exhibit at Langley City Hall is open:

– Monday to Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm
– Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
– Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
– Sundays: 1 pm – 5 pm

Take the time to visit the Art Project Roadshow. It’s truly amazing what a difference art makes in people’s lives. I’m a firm believer that art can heal.

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