Join us for the culmination of our collaborative project -There is Help & There is Hope: Mental Health Awareness through Art – on January 25th, when we will host a 2 part event for the Lynn community at RAW. First, HOPE (our group of Peer Leaders at RAW) will screen several short films that touch on different aspects of mental health and were produced by The NAN Project and RAW students. The Peer Mentors will follow this with a discussion about mental health and the supports available in their community. Next, a number of community based mental healthcare resources from Lynn will be showcased. We expect around 10 local providers to take part and provide informational materials to the attendees.
What: A Night for HOPE – Screening films & showcasing mental health care providers
When: Thursday, January 25 from 6 to 8pm
Where: Raw Art Works, 37 Central Sq., Lynn
How: Free event, open to the public
Background to the Project:
In the summer of 2017, The NAN Project was awarded a grant from the North Shore Community Health Network to improve mental health awareness and reduce stigma among youth, their families and the greater Lynn community. We have been collaborating on this project with Raw Art Works (RAW), a Lynn based organization that provides therapy through art for at risk youth. Together we are applying a peer-to-peer model where young people use their lived experience to open up the conversation around mental health and educate the community about locally available resources.
The collaboration began in September by identifying a group of peer leaders within RAW that were interested in educating their community about mental health. This group, which became known as HOPE- Helping Other People Endure – went through a 4 day Peer Mentor training. This covered education on the risks, signs and proper response to a peer or loved one who may be struggling with their mental health or feeling suicidal. The training then focused on helping the young adults develop their Comeback Stories, which detail the mental health challenges that they and their families have faced, and how they found the supports and hope to persevere.
HOPE now meets weekly, as we continue to share and refine their Comeback Stories, create art that promotes dialogue around mental health, and prepare for our upcoming mental health fair.
At the end of this project, we believe the Lynn community will have a greater knowledge of the supports and resources available to them, as well as a better understanding of the mental health challenges young people face and how best to respond to them.