MECCA’s Drawing Out Stigma Project is based upon the foundation of reducing behavioral and mental health disparities through reducing the associated stigma surrounding mental illness. MECCA believes that a positive impact can be made on reducing mental health stigma through artistic exhibits/events by providing community members with “a different lens through which they view those with a mental illness”. Multicultural artistic events provide multi-ethnic communities the opportunity to come together as one to educate the broader community about mental health stigma reduction. Artistic expression of thoughts, emotions, and attitudes through a variety of mediums provides the general public the opportunity to view mental health issues through a consumer perspective in an effort to counteract stereotypes, dispel prejudice, discrimination, and negative attitudes contributing to the stigma.

The Components of the Stigma Arts Project include:

  • Community-based culturally and linguistically specific arts workshops called “Drawing out the Stigma:
  • Community exhibits showcasing artistic expressions from the workshops specific to each ethnic community
  • Multi-ethnic festival celebrating artistic expression and mental health awareness in a collaborative manner
  • Educational video documentary demonstrating the success of using the arts and art therapy to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness

The Goals of the Stigma Arts Project are to:

  • Explore the stigma of mental illness, both from a consumer perspective and from a culturally competent community-based perspective, through an expression of the arts
  • Acknowledge the presence of stigma and increase mental health awareness through a collaborative effort by bringing communities together and finding community-based creative solutions to address this stigma
  • Reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness in a culturally competent manner through advocacy, wellness, and recovery

The Stigma Reduction through the Arts Project is an exciting, multi-media and multi-generational project which culminates in a large-scale annual festival where ethnic communities from across the county come together in a multicultural celebration aimed at reducing the stigma of mental illness.

For more information about this program, please contact us at programs@ocmecca.org