This past spring, Mirabella Roberts ‘20 and Nicole Spring ‘20.5 met for coffee to talk about a class assignment. As the two got to chatting, they discovered a shared passion for using art as a means to talk about their own narratives of mental illness. They realized that despite the need for constructive conversations on mental health –like the one they had that morning in the Blue Room– an organization that fought to end the stigma through art did not exist.
That same day, they immediately began the process of establishing Art to Reduce Mental Health Stigma (ARMS). After hosting a successful test event in an Interactive Art Gallery, the two incorporated ARMS as a 501(c)(3) Domestic Nonprofit Corporation in Rhode Island. Since then, the two, with help from student leaders Bria Metzger, Melissa Sierra, Jordyn Goldstein, Marian Chudnovsky and Gabby Ortiz, the group hosted Express Your Psych Open Mic to kick off the 2018-2019 school year.
The event was incredibly successful, with 100% of attendees reporting they would return for future ARMS events and a majority of the attendees reporting that they left with a newfound ability to hold productive conversations regarding the stigma surrounding mental health. ARMS is planning on hosting a slew of events from fashion design workshops to dance performances. They are looking to recruit volunteers, if you are interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get learn more by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/arms-