ART AND WELLNESS
Bringing the gap between emergency relief and My Voice Media Center Services
COVID-19-POSITIVE OUTCOMES for MY Voice Media Center on ZOOM
· Quickly transitioning through COVID 19 our free art sessions became a part of the ZOOM platform, google classroom Facebook and Facebook live.
· We established weekly check-in sessions with participants to increase their activity during quarantine. Then, we transitioned this session into what Is now centered in art and wellness, topics that we discuss and let participants choose.
· During COVID-19, a Monday and Thursday Check-In was created by our Executive Director. This was created for participants, new participants, and staff to stay connected on ZOOM. Who wasn’t Zooming?
· I heard many times during the pandemic, “I just don’t like change”. After that, we began one of My Voice Media Center’s biggest projects ever. From January to the end of April a participant and peer-made committee was formed, discussions, and many art projects were completed before it was done, almost completely on Zoom.
· The check-ins were reduced to one/week. After opening back up for at least 5 participants, the question arose, should we keep the Check-In? We have allowed some participants to have the option of Zooming an art session or coming in person, we have a session that stayed on the ZOOM platform due to the ease of “Share Screen” and we decided to create an installation project during one ZOOM Check-In, instead. We had completed a lot, despite the stigma of the ZOOM sessions and the attitude towards change.
· Now the session itself is known as “Art and Wellness-Art Topics you choose”, in which participants are able to create an artistic subject matter for each session and complete a wellness and recovery worksheet with me or other staff as their guide.
In our Art and Wellness sessions on Zoom, we discuss various artists, talents, media, and research together new ideas for the next meeting. By using the "Share Screen" all so genius from the ZOOM platform, both staff and participants can share their own art, discuss an art form and way of life of the artists in art history. Wellness and recovery topics are important to pair along with our theme, or subject. There is a need to know that art comes from inspiration, inspiring each other to do well.
We complete the worksheet together as a group, each sharing our own responses, and having courage to share a little of our recovery with each other for art's sake, and for our own. Art's for art's sake, they say, and our inspiration comes from each other and our wellness.
What do I mean by wellness?
Wellness is a state of being that refers to a person's overall feeling, and a healthy way of life. We have heard in mental health that "There is no health without mental health". (US Surgeon General, David Satcher)
What do I mean by worksheet?
In finding worksheets to use for our sessions is fun, because of the internet and technology doctors, national mental health sites and many others are able to share their knowledge and their resources via the WEB. I am grateful to have found two sites thus far that are recognized and create a welcoming and social interaction between our peers and staff.
The Mental Health America, Self-Help Tools | Mental Health America (mhanational.org), site has been rewarding we have worked on "Our Five Senses", discussing how we can relate this to relaxation in the work spaces that we prepare for ourselves. We can practice closing our eyes and think about what we can hear, taste, touch, smell, and feel, as we relax into the work space and then breath. Our artwork, video and photo work will benefit from this continued practice as we calm and relax our minds.
We are going to visit a worksheet from a new site coming up...
What kind of art topics do we choose?
In finding art that relates and connects us to our well being and recovery, participants and I have discovered using a site's search bar and searching in art history has a lot of luck. We find articles about other artist with mental illness, COVID-19 art, art that relates to subject matter, like the umbrellas for the big project at My Voice Media Center, and subject matter that relates to ideas like art that portrays change, or life, or even happiness...June Bug Joy!
In finding artists like Mary Aro who has been creating and sharing her art for a long time, she is 90 years old and still sits and has people bring her "trash" to draw/paint. We discussed how much patience she must have, in creating the work that she does. She has a unique eye for a unique composition.
So, come join us! As for a link to the newest session at My Voice Media Center...
ART AND WELLNESS:
“There is no health without mental health.” – US Surgeon General, David Satcher; accessed 06.03.2021; There is no health without mental health | mariebismark (wordpress.com); https://mariebismark.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/there-is-no-health-without-mental-health/#:~:text=%E2%80%9C%20There%20is%20no%20health%20without%20mental%20health,well-being%20is%20a%20core%20component%20of%20overall%20health.
Self-Help Tools | Mental Health America (mhanational.org); https://www.mhanational.org; accessed June 16, 2021