May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and to kick it off at the beginning of May, various women joined together to put up an exhibit entitled “(Don’t) Call Me Crazy” at Fred’s Art Gallery.
The participating artists were Glendale Benzon, Eden Cawang, Donnalee Denis, Rquel Diokno, Ana Patricia Dizon, Freya Jadormio, Tamielt Azrun Kahlil, Femy Dhania Lamsis, Joyce Mallare, Catherine Mapanao, Venus Marie Obinque, Maya Racuya, Sheela “Ming” Tabuno, Gab Talicuad, Kathrina Taylan, China Valdez, Leeyart Villanueva, and Jannelle Willer.
The artists created their own interpretations of different states of mental health. They also showed that art can be an emotional outlet, creating pieces touching on themes such as body positivity, self-reflection, loneliness, grief, and psychosis.
Freya Jadormio writes, “Depression is not a choice. Mental illness, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental disorders are not choices. Just like diabetes, skin disease, and eye disease, we all need help. You can’t just snap out of it but there’s a way to get better. Let’s help break the stigma about mental disorders and mental illness. The more we talk about it and make art about it, the more we can raise awareness.”
This exhibit also reminded us that we are not alone and that it is okay to seek help. Until we all see that mental health is a normal part of life that needs to be acknowledged, efforts such as art exhibits and talks are important to spread the word.