Artists counter stigma of mental illness

December 1, 2015

Members of a sold-out crowd share an embrace while viewing one of 12 works at the opening of an exhibit to help people understand mental illness. The exhibit was sponsored by HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital recently presented an exhibit of a dozen art works to help people understand what it's like to overcome or struggle with mental illness. The show was done in collaboration with the Heyde Center for the Arts in Eau Claire, Wis., where it was on display in October and November. The original works were created by artists from Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Clair counties in west central Wisconsin.

The exhibit was part of an initiative of HSHS Sacred Heart, in Eau Claire, and HSHS St. Joseph's, in Chippewa Falls, called 3D Community Health: Body.Mind.Spirit. The program provides health and wellness initiatives in west central Wisconsin that include free or low-cost classes at the hospitals, support groups and online resources and assessments.

The exhibit's opening Oct. 27 featured an evening with Mariel Hemingway, an actor and suicide prevention activist who shared stories and insights of growing up in a family that suffered the tragic grief of two suicides. Hemingway is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway and sister of Margaux Hemingway, both of whom committed suicide. She also visited with students at Regis Catholic Schools in Eau Claire to talk about her family experiences and mental health.

 

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