June Bug Joy is a time to get involved with My Voice Media Center...I encourage you to see what we are all about below!
Celebrate this month's art-bug with our theme: "June Bug Joy" and when you get that creative bug, give us a call to see what we are all about!
· Hi, my name is Halonnah Hope Kay. I am the Project Coordinator for the My Voice Media Center Project, here in Visalia.
· According to Mental Health America, 1 in 5 people experience mental illness somehow/somewhere in their lives.
· The My Voice Media Center Project is a mental health outreach and advocacy project of the Arts Consortium. The Arts consortium is Tulare County’s designated non-profit arts council. We are conveniently located near the downtown area of Visalia and a block away from the transit center, on the corner of Oak and Garden.
· The My Voice Media Center Project is designed for adults who have lived through first-hand or second-hand hardship due to mental health struggles. Some of our participants have credited us with helping them further their skills in leadership, social interactions, as well as problem-solving and decision-making skills. Our goal is to empower our participants to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
· “There is no health without mental health” a phrase coined by US Surgeon General, David Satcher recognizing a person’s overall wellness. As a mental health outreach, we aim to bridge the gap between services and resources in the county and the community.
· Inside My Voice Media Center, we offer many ways for participants to connect with other peers, they create art, are here to express their opinions about art, and they are invited to share their personal artwork in groups as well as during public art exhibitions. We so as much as we can to provide our participants with a connection to the local arts community and to our community as a whole.
· Absolutely free for participants, we offer a safe and welcoming environment for participants to become involved with special projects, free art sessions weekly, writing for the No Stigma Speaker’s Bureau, Peer Support and so much more.
· 2020-2021 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
· 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 topics and wellness topics in which the participants choose the topics.
· Undertook our first installation project called, “Our World, Our Perspective”. In our installation project, one of our biggest projects, we encouraged participants from all art sessions to become involved. We even invited and received art from one of our partners, the Porterville Wellness Center. Participants joined a committee with assistance from MVMC staff.
· Mental Health Awareness Video, our annual collaborative Mental health Awareness Month video was produced in the Video Editing session, for 2021 with a theme called “In it Together”.
· Currently, we have a total of 12 different sessions: No Stigma Speaker’s Bureau (public speaking), Photo Editing, Group Guitar Sessions, Private Guitar Sessions, Pastels, Printmaking, Peer Support, Digital Photography, Art and Wellness, 2D and 3D Art, Video Editing and Acrylic Painting.
· Olivia, whom you just heard tell her story is our peer support specialist and has a lived-experienced story of her own, making her peer connection unique, strong and supportive. As a Peer Support Specialist, she provides in-person, one-on-one even throughout the pandemic by phone.
· NO STIGMA SPEAKER’S BUREAU – No Silence, Speak Beauty, a quote going to printed for a t-shirt contest by one of our participants
· 4. We hope that each of our participants will eventually become a part of NSSB, a public speaking session, because the NSSB serves as one of our most powerful community education tools.
· Participants begin by outlining their life story, including only the parts that they are comfortable with sharing with an audience. When participants are ready to say their story out loud, they share story and positive outlook with an audience of their choosing (nurse doctors, parents, law enforcement, hospitals, recovery homes, or special interest groups).
· The No Stigma Speaker’s Bureau (NSSB) offers our participants the opportunity to “own” their life story. This happens through practice, group support and editing, then the actual presentation, or oration. We hope that in doing so, our participants’ stories promote hope for others and help eliminate the stigma correlated with mental illness.
o As I close, I encourage you all to listen to stories, engage, respond, connect, and help us create a bridge for participants in understanding their courage.
· Courage in change, courage to express themselves and courage to reduce the stigma of mental health through outreaches like us.
· I want to share a story of the “Art and Wellness” session during COVID-19.
· 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”. As things slowly go back to normal, we looked back on all the accomplishments we shared over ZOOM together. The change that was the most important came later.
· The check-ins were reduced to one/week. Then 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. 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 over the ZOOM platform.
· 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 as their guide.
· I want to express my thanks to all of you. Thank you for allowing us to express ourselves and continue to share with you the way in which we connect to our peers and offer support to each other. Our journeys are unique, desire wellness, and need support. We can’t wait to see you at My Voice Media Center and give you a tour. Thank you!
2021. Halonnah Hope Kay. CIT Training.
“September of 2020, Senate Bill (SB) 803 (Beall, Chapter 150, Statues of 2020)”;
Peer Support Services (ca.gov); https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Pages/Peer-Support-Services.aspx; accessed 5.31.2021 at 6:01PM
“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.