The New York City Mural Arts Project uses a collaborative mural-making process to discuss mental health and foster new social interactions in New York City’s communities. We work with community-based organizations, artists, people living with a mental health diagnosis, and the community at large to break down misconceptions and stigma associated with mental illness. Together, we translate our conversations into a mural that reflects the diversity and strength of everyone involved in the mural-making process.
A person’s mental health cannot depend solely on medical 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.
Vanessa Monique Smith
CS211 and TAPCo Murals, Bronx
34th Street Mural, Manhattan
Andrew Frank Baer
Acacia Network’s mission is to partner with our communities, lead change, and promote healthy and prosperous individuals and families in a HEALTH NEIGHBORHOOD environment. Our focus on excellence is driven by our employees’ ideas and contributions to shape and lead the organization. We strive to incorporate best practices and stimulate innovation. The foundation of our success is the members of the Acacia family who devote their time, talent, and resources to those who entrust their care to us. We are genuine, compassionate, professional, transparent, and responsible. We affirm the unique identity of those we serve, treating each with friendliness, dignity, respect, care and compassion. Our values are inherent in our desire to provide exceptional customer service. We engender trust and provide solutions toward our common goal to lead change and provide the highest quality of integrated care. We make our ethics and values clear by living them each day, and tenaciously uphold our organizational culture that recognizes and supports the diverse strength of the Acacia Network. Learn more about Acacia at acacianetwork.org.
Services for the Underserved (S:US)
We drive scalable solutions to transform the lives of people with disabilities, people in poverty and people facing homelessness: solutions that contribute to righting societal imbalances. We envision a city where everyone has a roof over their head, is healthy, productive and can enjoy the social connections that create a life of purpose. We’re a nonprofit with a staff of close to 2,000 that provides $200 million in services. Our efforts are supported by various local, state and federal government entities as well as foundations, corporations and individual donors. Most importantly, our vision allows us to deliver the same quality of services to one individual or to thousands. No challenge is beyond our scope. Our Uniqueness lies in our ability to take what we learn on the ground and use it to change systems and impact policy. By delivering high quality services that address the complex circumstances of each person, we help transform lives, improve neighborhoods and boost future generations. Learn more about SUS at sus.org.
Community Access is a pioneer of supportive housing and social services, and, both in NYC and nationally, we promote human rights, social justice, and economic opportunities. Community Access expands opportunities for people living with mental health concerns to recover from trauma and discrimination through affordable housing, training, advocacy and healing-focused services. We are built upon the simple truth that people are experts in their own lives. We're at the vanguard of the fight against New York City homelessness. We're expanding our reach to help more individuals experiencing trauma and distress. And we continue to bolster our job readiness and educational programs to train more peers for the workforce. Learn more about Community Access at communityaccess.org.
NYC DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The New York City Department of Education (DOE) is the largest school district in the US, serving 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools.
THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY
The Port Authority of NY & NJ builds, operates, and maintains critical transportation and trade assets. Its network of aviation, rail, surface transportation and seaport facilities annually moves millions of people and transports vital cargo throughout the New York/New Jersey region. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, home to the iconic One World Trade Center.