Mental Health Awareness Week 18 – 24 May 2020

May 15, 2020

18 May 2020

Dear Friends,

Mental Health Awareness Week 18 – 24 May 2020

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is ‘kindness’.  We have benefited enormously from the kindness of our friends and supporters, the staff and students at The Cherwell School, and the young artists who shared their creative ideas with us in our sessions during the winter and spring terms. 

The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh often experienced difficulties with his mental health. He also struggled to support himself financially, and for much of his life was not recognised as a great artist. In 1888 he wrote to thank his brother Theo for sending him money: ‘You are kind to painters, and be sure that the more I think about it the more I feel that there is nothing more genuinely artistic than to love people’.

There have been lots of examples of people showing love to one another lately. Each little gesture is, as Van Gogh says, ‘genuinely artistic’.  Art helps us to pay closer attention and see things differently, it strengthens our connection with other people, and allows us to work out what makes us feel fulfilled.

During the lockdown we have been asking you to make a face, either from things you can find around your house, or from a face that is already there – in the trunk of a tree for instance, or the way food is arranged on a plate.  We have been amazed by the response and we now have an incredible gallery of your images on our website. In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week we would like to suggest that, as well as sending your artwork to us, you also send it to somebody you care about and ask them how they are doing.  Let’s stay connected through art!

With our very best wishes,

Juli, Paula, Will, Miranda, Barbara and Rosie – and the AT The Bus team