Stories of Transformation
Stories of Transformation
A Journey of Restoration and Self-Expression
There is healing in creating. It’s why so many who reach out to Mental Health America of Los Angeles find their way to a pen, a paintbrush, or a musical instrument. As they put momentous effort into restoring their health, they also embark on a journey of self-expression and rediscovery.
August, who gets assistance from MHALA in the Antelope Valley, suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm over a decade ago. During his long period of recovery, he discovered painting.
Art, he says, is a way “to create something wonderful from colors and movement. When others see my art with a sense of wonder, it gives me a sense of accomplishment — but a greater sense of accomplishment is when I see what I can make when I express myself.”
This year, MHALA’s Antelope Valley and Long Beach teams came together virtually to give those we serve the opportunity to reveal their talent and find common ground in their art. As they shared music, poetry, drawings, and inspirational works, they also bridged cultures, experiences, and generations. Encouraged by the group’s warm reception, several members — Gary among them — found the courage to perform live.
Gary suffers from bipolar disorder and, like August, has received support from MHALA over the years.
“This was the first time I’d ever done such a meeting,” shares Gary. “Carey asked me if I’d like to perform.
“‘Sure I would.’
“I sang the song ‘God Bless the USA.’ Whilst singing, I had tears in my eyes. The song means a lot to me. Whilst living in Nuremberg, I worked evenings as a disc jockey in a club behind William O’ Darby Army Kaserne. Every night at midnight, I’d play that song. Never have I seen so many drunk GIs with tears in their eyes, saluting the wind …I was always touched.”
Every day, MHALA makes sure that August, Gary, and so many others continue to find their voice. We count on you to help us encourage their daily renewal and transformation as we continue to fulfill our mission: to ensure that individuals with mental health needs achieve meaningful, healthy lives in their communities.
To succeed, our members need the safety of consistent health care. The security of housing. The assurance of a job. The comfort of knowing they have a community behind them, supporting them as they move through life with newfound resiliency and hope.
We are so thankful for your ongoing support, which last year allowed us to help nearly 10,500 adults and transition-age youth, including Veterans and people struggling with homelessness, to regain their footing. As they move forward, in life and in art, we will continue to share their stories of inspiration.
Thank you for all you do for those we serve.
My warmest regards,
Christina Miller, Ph.D.
President and CEO
To see part of our 2021 Art Show, click here.