I'LL BE DONATING 10% OF ALL ART SALES TOWARDS RUNNING MONTHLY WELLNESS WORKSHOPS AND HERE'S WHY...
MENTAL HEALTH FACTS
By the time we reach 40 years of age, half of us will have had or will develop a mental health problem.
About 17% of British Columbians – somewhere around 800, 000 people – are experiencing a mental illness or substance use issue today.
An estimated 84,000 children and youth in BC have a diagnosed mental disorder, yet less than one-third of those children who seek help are receiving mental health services. That means that as many as 58,000 children in BC are not receiving the treatment they need.
An estimated 68,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 24 meet the criteria for a substance use disorder, yet BC has only 24 publicly funded treatment beds to serve our youth.
Right now, we are paying for mental illness in the most expensive way possible because we are waiting too long to provide access to treatment and services. We are waiting until the point of crisis. That means too many hospital stays, and jail instead of the right treatment. In 2010, the government of British Columbia estimated that mental health problems cost our economy an estimated $6.6 billion annually.
THE POSITIVE POWER OF WORDS
Like me, you may have driven past Sean on the corner of Main and 2nd. I pass him on my way to work and his sign really stood out. It was uplifting; he wasn’t asking for help, quite the opposite. The carefully thought through words were written to inspire his readers and make them smile. Sean literally jumped for joy when I offered to make him a more permanent sign, “That would be fantastic because every time it rains, my cardboard sign gets trashed and I have to make another one” he exclaimed!
Originally from Abbotsford, Sean grew up with a violent step-parent which made life challenging and led him down a path of drugs for an escape. Music kept him alive during the toughest times. Now firmly established on his Main and 2nd spot, he stands with his sign and respectfully acknowledges people rather than asking for anything. This results in people feeling free to return his smile, wave or give anything else they want to, without pity or pressure.
Many people know and love Sean. His sign empowers not only him, but all who read it. To others going through similar challenges to his, Sean’s encouragement is to KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, THINGS WILL GET BETTER! :)
(This was written with Sean's consent)
Drawing from my experience as a mentor and walking alongside people over the years, I have developed some wellness workshops that are suitable for anyone looking for an opportunity to reflect on the season of life they are in and find encouragement to keep moving forward. Specifically these workshops aim to help people:
1. Share their challenges and trials with others.
2. Reflect on them holistically (what was hard, what they learnt).
3. Determine a word or message to empower them in their present season.
4. Make their own piece of reclaimed word art as a reminder to keep moving forward.
Workshops will be run in collaboration with local organizations and companies who feel their people would benefit, (picture left is 'Creative Life' youth in a zero waste workshop at my studio). Workshops are ideally suited to small groups of 3-6 people who are open to sharing, reflecting and getting creative in a wood workshop environment.
I'm always looking to collaborate with local organizations so please do reach out if you think you may be a good fit.
EMPOWERING THROUGH SHARING
I am very blessed to space share with a unique and amazing company called Woodshop Workers Coop where we work in close collaboration. Here I have the great privilege of working with some team members who would struggle to find meaningful employment if it weren't for companies like the Woodshop. Over the years, we've become friends and they have shared their stories of hope through hardship.
It is my intention to include in these workshops, opportunities for those who have come through hardships to share. This is both empowering to the sharer and those listening alike.
(Frazier left, Ian right)