Second Saturday Art Display Inspires Hope, Dispels Myths For Those Living With Mental Illness

By Lisa Page

The Effort is hosting a Second Saturday art showing on May 12. While there will be plenty of art to check out this Second Saturday, this is not your typical art display. The showing, in observance of May is Mental Health Month, will feature pieces from local Sacramento County residents, with many of the featured artists in attendance. The art on display—and the artists themselves—will help to promote messages of wellness, hope and recovery and dispel the myths and stereotypes surrounding mental illness.

May 12, 2012 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The Effort (1820 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95811)

As someone who has seen firsthand the devastating effects of mental illness, I am thrilled that there’s an event like this happening, but the best news is that it’s part of a larger effort by the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services (DHHS/DBHS). The Mental Illness: It’s not always what you think project, which launched earlier this year, seeks to reduce stigma and discrimination against Sacramento-area residents living with mental illness, promote mental health and wellness and inspire hope for people and families living with mental illness. (Full disclosure: I work on this project.)

At the Second Saturday art show, the project will also be announcing its first round of Mental Health Champions. This recognition honors individuals and organizations in Sacramento County who have made a significant contribution toward reducing the stigma experienced by people with mental illness, providing support or treatment to people living with mental illnesses, advocacy for issues related to mental health and/or advancing knowledge in the area of mental illness and mental health research.

One only needs to look at the staggering statistics to understand the need for an effort of this magnitude: one in every four adults will live with a mental illness during their lifetime and nearly one out of every five children will experience emotional or behavioral difficulty. In Sacramento County alone, it is estimated that nearly 355,000 residents are living with a mental illness. Unfortunately two-thirds of people living with mental illness never seek professional help due to the shame and discrimination surrounding mental illness.

Recently, posted an inspiring story about a young woman in Sacramento County living with mental illness which talked more about Sacramento County’s Stop Stigma efforts. You can view additional personal stories here or share your own.

Additional pieces of art will also be on display at the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Chambers throughout the month and the State Capitol Building (in early June).

For more information about mental illness or the anti-stigma project go to or call 2-1-1 (or TTY 916-446-1434).

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