ADMH art showcase offers release for those battling mental illness

ADMH art showcase offers release for those battling mental illness
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Thursday at the Supreme Court Library at the Alabama Capitol, the Alabama Department of Mental Health held its annual Capitol Showcase. The event was a way for those battling mental health issues to cope with their struggles through masterpieces.

"You know we all work every day to maintain our own mental health and so we have a variety of ways that we do that. It might be through art, it might be through music, it might be through reading or any other thing that we would call a hobby. It might be through our relationships. It might be through our work, our church, our social interaction, I mean, there's a whole host of ways we work to do that," said ADMH Commissioner Lynn Beshear.

Beshear enjoys the feedback she gets from those braving their own personal issues, especially from one woman.

"The hugs I get.One young woman had told me how she struggles with depression and suicide and how she, through art, had been able to move into recovery and maintain her medications and her support systems and her therapies," said Beshear. "And she said, 'Anytime I paint I don't feel depressed anymore.'"

One thing Beshear said Thursday's event showed her is that we are all the same.

"I think what has struck me about this is that it just further affirms what we already know and that is that people with a mental illness are no different from anyone else. It is a condition of the brain and with the proper medications, the proper support, people can live rich and full lives," she said.

"I have been affirmed that when people are allowed a means of expression that there's no end to what could happen with that."

Several pieces were on hand from works that featured paintings of springtime, fish, and others.

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