Mental Health Matters with an Artful Approach

Posted: 2018-05-16 7:40:42 AM by WorkInCulture editor | with 28 comments

Written by Parul Pandya

When Workman Arts first approached me about the opportunity to produce a mental health arts symposium, I was thrilled and drawn to the opportunity for multiple reasons. While working in non-profit for over a decade through the arts and social services, I saw the direct impact of mental health on individuals and communities across Ontario. Additionally, I have faced my own mental health challenges with anxiety and depression throughout adulthood, and I wanted to acknowledge the overwhelming and sometimes frightening reality of confronting mental wellness as a relatable and human struggle. 
#BigFeels: Creating Space for Mental Health in the Arts Symposium programming emerged from carrying out public consultations with artists with lived mental health experience, arts organizations and mental health service providers in March 2018. The goal was to actively listen to create conversations, supports and training opportunities to enrich the personal and professional repertoires when responding to mental health needs. Through working in community arts I have learned that art is a powerful tool for having open and accessible conversations on difficult topics.  As individuals, arts workers, community contributors and developers, #BigFeels aims to provide a space for critical conversations, while bringing together a diverse range of people to share and learn together.
For me this is just the beginning of a journey and a calling that I am committed to, and I look forward to collaborating with many like-minded organizations well into the future. I am grateful to Workman Arts for taking a chance on me.
Parul Pandya, Community Consultant
Community Impact Non-Profit Consulting
For more information on #BigFeels including a full schedule for May 28-30, please visit:
Workman Arts is the longest-running multi-disciplinary arts and mental health organization in North America, and supports the professional development of aspiring, emerging and established artists with lived experience of mental health and addiction issues.
#BigFeels is made possible thanks to generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

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2021-09-24 10:54:58 AM
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Mental health is one of the most important issues that our society needs to face. Thanks for sharing this Work In Culture!
2021-09-23 8:26:54 AM
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I hope more and more people come out about their own struggles. We can help one another by being more authentic
2021-09-17 3:42:07 PM
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I think this year we've really seen how critical things can get when mental health issues are left unaddressed.
2021-09-17 3:36:54 PM
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Mental health is an issue that needs more focus. Thanks for introducing this approach! Every help matters. Thanks for doing this Work In Culture!
2021-09-16 11:11:36 AM
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A great approach to mental health is involving other sectors such as art. This is a great article to expound upon this idea. THanks, WIC!
2021-08-27 10:33:47 AM
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2021-08-19 9:44:58 AM
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Thankful for advocating mental health. This is why I love mental health. Thanks for doing this!
2021-08-18 9:08:48 AM
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Mental health is not to be taken lightly. It can be very complicated. Whatever can be done to bring awareness to mental health is awesome, whether it is through art or something else. I applaud you tremendously in your effort on mental health.
2021-08-15 8:03:41 PM
Thanks for sharing! mixing art with mental health seem like a good approach to get close and help people with these problems. Thanks for sharing!
2021-08-14 8:55:14 PM
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Including arts as an approach to mental health is definitely a great idea. Continue doing what guys do! Thanks
2021-08-14 3:34:44 AM
Thank you for sharing your talent with everyone and Good to see people out there doing good work for the community. Mental Health is really where all health ailments stems from.
2021-07-30 1:08:57 AM
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Mental health is always important. Thanks for sharing this!
2021-07-16 2:55:45 AM
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Mental health is often overlooked by big companies. It's great that some people are also doing things like different approaches. Thanks for sharing
2021-07-01 12:49:57 PM
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We see so many people for mental health problems that traditional drugs aren't fully addressing. I hope there's more research allocated to it.
2021-06-30 11:27:14 AM
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This is the best approach I think. I have members of my family experiencing mental health problems. Sometimes the feeling will drag you in and it's sad.
2021-06-30 2:37:10 AM
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Good to see people out there doing good work for the community. Mental Health is really where all health ailments stems from.
2021-06-29 5:08:32 PM
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Mental health is the most important topic when it comes to human beings period. It all starts in the head and manifests outwards.
2021-06-28 4:25:38 PM
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Mental health is an important factor in the everyday life of everyone. It's great that WIC is raising awareness regarding this. Thanks!
2021-06-28 4:46:32 AM
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Mental health is an issue that should always be addressed when it comes to the worst. Great thing that guys are raising awareness regarding this!
2021-06-25 10:01:53 AM
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Promoting mental health is a noble thing to do, especially for private companies like you. This is why I love Work In Culture. Thanks for sharing!
2021-06-08 6:47:44 AM
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It really matters. Let's normalize it
2021-05-29 11:36:27 PM
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#bigfeels I'm glad you're committed to this mission because we need more people like you. Thank you for all you do. Keep it up!
2021-05-25 6:25:05 PM
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A great and innovative way to entice users to raise awareness of mental health through art. Great project. Thanks for sharing this!
2021-04-26 3:39:46 AM
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Artwork and mental health are two very broad things. When combined together, they do well in reaching out to people in need and even raising awareness of the stigma surrounding mental health. Great project!
2021-04-23 1:50:26 AM
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Mental health is a topic that is often neglected and shun aside by most people. It's great that events like this do take the time and dedication to raise awareness regarding the stigma that surrounds it in art. Good work!
2021-04-09 5:12:45 AM
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Great event! Raising awareness towards topics like mental health is very important, especially in these times of crisis. Great Job guys in inspiring others!
2021-04-08 5:00:10 AM
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Mental health is really a complicated problem to tackle. The stigma surrounding it still lingers up to his day. it's great that people like you guys still care for those experiencing this problem. Thank you as always!
2021-04-07 7:11:45 AM
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