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Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with Project HEAL

why project heal?

As Mental Health Month unfolds in May, I see it as a perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of mental wellness and the various paths individuals can take to find healing and comfort.

Amidst this awareness month, initiatives like Project HEAL shine brightly as symbols of hope, offering a distinctive method of mental health support through the lens of creative self-expression.

As the facilitator for Project HEAL, I witness firsthand the profound impact of art as a tool for healing and personal growth. Our initiative, led by the Domestic Violence Network (DVN), acknowledges the transformative power of art. Through a series of creative workshops, we invite participants to delve into their emotions, navigate trauma, and foster resilience within a safe and supportive space. 

Whether through painting, writing, or other forms of artistic expression, we encourage individuals to connect with their innermost thoughts and feelings, empowering them on their journey toward mental wellness.

Workshop at Marian University

Centering survivors & participants

At the core of Project HEAL lies a powerful message: self-expression is not just a form of communication, but also a pathway to reclaiming one’s narrative and asserting agency over one’s life.

For survivors of domestic violence, who often struggle with silenced voices and invalidated experiences, the opportunity to express themselves creatively can be incredibly empowering. Through art, our participants transcend past traumas, envisioning a future filled with hope, resilience, and endless possibilities.

Workshop at Firefly Children & Family Alliance

how art heals

Moreover, the act of creating art serves as a therapeutic endeavor in itself.

Engaging in artistic expression provides individuals with a space for mindfulness and self-care amidst life’s challenges. It allows for a deeper connection with one’s emotions, offering a release from pent-up feelings and a path to inner peace and well-being. 

Whether it’s through the rhythmic strokes of a paintbrush or the precision of needlework, art possesses the innate ability to soothe the soul and nourish the spirit.

mental health matters

As we honor Mental Health Month, let us come together to celebrate the transformative power of self-expression through Project HEAL. By providing survivors of domestic violence with a platform for creative exploration, our initiative offers a comprehensive approach to mental wellness that respects the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.

Together, let’s embrace the healing potential of art and continue to advocate for initiatives that prioritize mental health and well-being, not just in May, but every day of the year!

Workshop with DVN Youth Network



By Graci Callowy, Project HEAL Intern, May 15th, 2024, Domestic Violence Network (DVN)