SFU alumna Linda Chang is the event coordinator at Surrey's Moving Forward Family Services, and hopes an event at the Surrey campus Mar. 19 will help break down mental health barriers through art and mindfulness.

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Art & Mindfulness event Mar. 19 addresses mental health barriers

March 18, 2018
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Breaking down the stigmas and barriers for those who experience mental health challenges depends on a continuing effort to raise awareness. With that in mind SFU alumna Linda Chang hopes a culturally inclusive event at SFU’s Surrey campus will have an impact on the local community.

Art and Mindfulness for Mental Health is being hosted by Moving Forward Family Services, where Chang works as event coordinator, together with the SFU-TD Community Engagement Centre (CEC).

“We’ve invited people who can tell their stories about how they overcame or learned to live with their mental health challenges through writing, drawing, singing, dancing and mindful meditation,” says Chang, a psychology major at SFU who graduated in 2009.

“My hope is that the event will bring more awareness to the community about mental health challenges while inspiring greater inclusion. Many are mothers, fathers, co-workers and artists, each learning to live with their own challenges.”

Chang, from Beijing, is working towards her master of counselling degree at Adler University's Vancouver campus. She became involved with Moving Forward Family Services while looking for a practicum site that focused on social justice and inclusion. The organization offers a sliding scale to free counselling to the community. 

“I was drawn here because their goal is to bridge the gaps in counselling services by eliminating wait lists, and bring more affordable counselling to people from diverse backgrounds.

“They are also about developing strong relationships within the community, which really appeals to me, because it is a big part of finding solutions,” she adds.

Art and Mindfulness For Mental Health will be held March 19 (Monday) from 3 pm to 8 pm in the Mezzanine and all are welcome to attend. Visitors can listen to dynamic speakers, watch engaging performances, and engage in art therapy activities enabling the audience to experience the therapeutic and healing abilities of the arts.

Among featured topics: 

  • The therapeutic value of Bhangra dance
  • Mindfulness and art therapy
  • Drawing, Ddoll making, clay shaping and colouring
  • Spoken word and song 
  • Author reading