A person’s mental health cannot depend solely on clinical care. It is strengthened through communal support and open dialogue with family, friends, and neighbors. Also, a community’s health is enhanced by improving social relationships and expanding social networks. To destigmatize mental illness, we support and connect the following groups:
COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS
Community Based Organizations—local providers of mental health services—are our anchor in the community and the launch point to engage residents and other local organizations. We aim to support their organizational goals, increase their presence in a community, and provide opportunities to share their work with all New Yorkers.
MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMERS
Mental Health Consumers—people receiving behavioral health services for a mental illness or addiction—live, work, and thrive in our communities. Our workshops, community engagement events, and mural design process offer a platform to share their lived experiences, capabilities, and skills with the rest of the community.
The Community—its families, residents, and workers—ground our project in a neighborhood, ensuring the murals are by and for the communities we work with. By supporting local arts and reimagining what mental illness looks like, community members give their neighborhood a mural that reflects who they are. It’s a lasting reminder of the work we can do together.
East Harlem Muralist
Kristy McCarthy is a painter, teaching artist, and cultural organizer based in East Harlem, NYC. Painting under the moniker “D.Gale”, she utilizes art as a tool to build community, raise awareness about social justice issues, and heal collective trauma. Kristy is a founding member of The Harlem Art Collective and has spearheaded over twenty community art installations in East Harlem.
Jamaica Queens Muralist
Giannina Gutierrez is a mixed media artist born in Barranquilla, Colombia and raised in Jamaica, Queens. Utilizing a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation, her work has been featured in galleries, public art projects, and publications throughout NYC, LA, Miami, Chicago, and Puerto Rico.
2021/2022 COMMUNITY-BASED PARTNERS
Venture House is a non-profit, community based mental health agency, serving adults diagnosed with serious mental illness. They support individuals in finding quality of life through improved access to education, employment, community engagement, and a lifetime of meaningful social connection.
Venture House utilizes the Clubhouse approach to psychosocial rehabilitation, which is a unique model rooted in the notion that engagement in purposeful activity brings meaning to life and promotes health and wellness. To that end, members of the Clubhouse work side by side with staff to run day-to-day operations, including facility maintenance, culinary, clerical, program planning and development, as well as advocacy and recreation. Members are involved in all aspects of decision-making, including on the Board level.
Fedcap Rehabilitation/Chelton Loft
Men and women coping with serious mental illness want a place where they can go, receive help and training, and develop a sense of community. They have such a place at Chelton Loft. Located in Harlem and open to adults who have a history of serious mental illness, with or without chemical dependency, and those with a history of homelessness, The Chelton Loft is open six days a week. Members and staff work together to create an environment that supports people’s growth and development. To become a member an individual must have been diagnosed with a mental illness, be 18 years or older, and live in New York City. The Chelton Loft charges no fee to join.