Today, on World Mental Health Day, with so much of the world grappling from personal and global challenges that directly impact their loved ones or their own sense of wellbeing and safety, I am reminded of the power of art to express what it means to be human. And connecting to that humanity, within ourselves and one another, is inherently healing.
Susan Magsamen, the director of the International Arts+Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, reflects on the vulnerable and humbling experience of hospitalization, and how this can be “one of the most stressful experiences anybody ever has.” The Arts in Medicine department of New York City Health and Hospitals was developed in 2018 as part of a growing movement in healthcare to utilize the arts for healing. Their collection of artwork set in public spaces around hospital facilities across the boroughs helps “create an enriched environment that can lower stress, anxiety and blood pressure, improve moods and lead to faster healing.”
I feel honored to be able to collaborate with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Whitney Museum of American Art and implement a deeply personal, art-centered approach to care through ongoing arts-based wellness workshops. This approach focuses on close-looking dialogue and creative resilience skill-building to help hospital employees in every role cultivate self compassion, build community and camaraderie, alleviate symptoms of burnout, and develop mindful stress management tools on the job. Photos of the program and more about the history, impact, and vision of the program are featured here:
Post by Sharon Itkoff Nacache ATR-BC LCAT LPAT PMH-C