Every youth that comes through the door at Express Yourself brings a unique story with them. For most of them, that story is full difficult experiences and struggles with mental illness – in fact, many of our youth have experienced serious trauma and loss in their lives.
We work to create a safe, creative space for healing and joy to counteract the challenges in their everyday lives. This year, we asked our Mentors to dig deeper into those stories in order to have honest conversations around mental health.
This fall, our mentors explored sharing their stories through poetic writing and prose. They specifically reflected upon how Express Yourself has helped them grow, cope and heal.
We then took these stories, poems & rhythms and created personalized light-box self-portraits. The words create a landscape of experience, a shifting map detailing their journeys. We are extremely proud and moved by their work and willingness to share.