NYAPRS Conference in the Catskill Mountains
September 12-16, 2016
The NYAPRS Conference, held at the Hudson Valley Resort in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, provided artists and creatives working in the mental health sectors an opportunity to attend workshops relating to art and emotional well-being. As a peer facilitator of the Creative Wellness Coalition in Rochester NY, I attended a span of workshops that discuss as it intersects with mental health. The workshops explored how creative expression can be used as a vehicle to navigate through challenging emotional turbulences. Moreover, it shed light on the grassroots movements occurring across many communities, combining artistic expression with peer-driven support. Much is being done to debunk the stigma surrounding mental illness, but there is progress yet to be made, even within the health industry itself. Personal accounts from keynote speakers moved me dearly as they shared motivational stories from their journey. I came from the event overflowing with sentiment and hope for the future of artistic expression.