Next Thursday evening Lighthouse Behavioral Wellness Centers will be hosting an art show and reception for their third annual art show and contest to help raise awareness for mental health. Wellness Coach Nikkie Love said every year the show has a theme, and this year’s theme is “Shine the light.”
“Part of the reason behind why we do the show is because artwork is such an important outlet to a lot of our patients,” Love said. “They’re able to write or draw or just create, and it helps get what’s in their heads out.”
Love said that while anyone is able to enter their art into the contest many of the artists are clients of Lighthouse.
“It gives a lot of our clients hope just to see something they’ve created put on display,” Love said.
Lighthouse operates in nine counties with seven locations, one in Ardmore. While mental health is an important aspect of the work they do at Lighthouse, Health Home Nurse Care Manager Justin Stone said they like to take an integrated approach to their clients’ care. In other words they also stress the importance of physical health.
“We found out that people with mental illnesses were dying up to 30 years before people without mental illness for reasons that had nothing to do with mental illness,” Stone said. “They were getting their mental illnesses treated but they were ignoring their comorbidities like COPD, diabetes, and things like that. That’s why we have a wellness coach and an RN, to push for people to make sure they see the doctor.”
The opening reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the Arts and Cultural Center in Pauls Valley located at 220 West Paul Avenue. The winners will be announced during the reception, however the art will remain on display during the day on May 10, 13, 14 and 15.