The Issues

NYCMAP aims to educate and build relationships within communities to help eliminate stigma around mental illness.


In New York City, one in five adults experiences a mental health disorder in any given year. If we better understand mental health, we can address stigma and its impact on ourselves and others in our communities. NYC Mural Arts Project creates a platform that provides opportunities for education and meaningful community interaction.



People living with mental illness often suffer from the effects of public stigma - a negative set of attitudes and beliefs, held by the general public. For example, people may assume that someone with a psychiatric condition is violent and dangerous. These prejudices can lead to discrimination in housing, employment, or health services. Public stigma affects all of us. If we are willing to address stigma, we can help reduce the stressors and traumas that affect individuals and promote mental health in our communities overall.


Public stigma can lead people living with mental illness to feel self stigma- an internalization of the others misconceptions about mental health. By holding false and negative beliefs about oneself, a person can experience feelings of shame, anger, hopelessness, or despair. These feelings can discourage people from seeking social support or treatment. If we can overcome our self stigmas we can advocate for ourselves, address individual needs, and thrive within our communities.



We can all fight against inaccurate stereotypes by learning more about mental illness and its effects. NYC Mural Arts Project creates opportunities for communities to discover together and understand mental illness as a part of life. Through our events, workshop discussions, and online resources we challenge our stigmas, promote mental health services, and encourage people to share what they have learned throughout their community.


One of the best ways to eliminate stigma is to simply bring people together. NYC Mural Arts Project creates platforms for meaningful conversations among people from all walks of life. Our community engagement events, art workshops, and Community Paint Fests help people reflect on their challenges and biases, while creating new friendships and a better understanding of our communities.