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Artwork by April Angela Garcia

Our latest featured artist, April Angela Garcia, shares her story of mental health struggles over the years and how she uses art/creative work as an outlet to help manage her mental health symptoms.

“My name is April Angela Garcia.  I Am 32 Years old from a small town in Texas.  I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with severe psychosis, severe PTSD, generalized anxiety and bipolar disorder. I also suffered from addiction and suicidal/homicidal ideation.  I have been in and out of counseling from elementary years into adulthood.  It is very hard for me to hold a stable let alone any sort of relationship. I always felt that something had to be wrong with me.  Nothing or anyone ever lasted in my life because something was always going wrong.   Most recently another suicide attempt landed me into a mental hospital. And although the events leading to my hospitalization were traumatic, going to the mental hospital was indeed a blessing.  I learned about the characteristics of my diagnoses, warning signs and the triggers.  After being discharged I brought along those techniques home and use them for my everyday life when I have what I call “My Moments”.  It’s not easy I still struggle but I’ve come to put all that pain, aggression into passion of art.  I found drawing and writing to be an outlet for me.  Also, I use it as a platform to bring awareness of mental health.  It has also given me ideas as to how I can help my own community for those that suffer in silence as I had and not to be afraid to ask for help or education on their diagnosis that some places fail to.

I hope and pray that I reach hearts today and give courage to those in the darkness to come to the Light and we come together as a family.  As a Soul tribe with the goal of bringing awareness to the world of mental health problems and to break the stigma associated with these diagnoses.”

By Brian Belt

Executive Director of Mental Health Awareness and Creative Arts Gallery INC

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