In September MYArts held space for Prenicia Clifton’s organization Seein’ is Believin’, which aims to address youth mental health and young adult preparation. The event, Feeding Our Bellies, Feeding Our Souls: The Mother’s Mental Health Moment, was held in response to recent community tragedies, including a devastating mother-daughter murder-suicide and the loss of a Seein’ is Believin’ teen. The event aimed to address and destigmatize the mental health needs of mothers.
The night began with catered soul food because, as Prenicia stated, “You have to feed the belly before you can feed the mind.” Seein’ is Believin’ also provided childcare so that adults who brought younger children could fully engage with the experience. For so many parents, childcare is a barrier for their own wellness, whether that be attending an event or going to work.
The event consisted of two panels in which mothers and youth got to be seen and heard, and learn from each other. Panelists told stories and answered questions about self-care, resilience, forgiveness, learning to listen, finding their voice, and seeking mental health help. One of the standout words and messages was around communication, because silence equals death. The adults panelists gave eloquent and tear-jerking stories with examples of how silence had amounted to death or destruction in their life, but more importantly how they overcame it and are now thriving.
The heart of the night came from the youth panelists, who spoke passionately about their experiences in school and how it impacts their mental health. They spoke of wanting to be heard, protected, and free. The night ended on a platform of hope and accessing life tool kits to better manage the environment in which they live.
At its core MYArts strives to be a safe space for youth to be themselves, to feel seen, and to be heard. That message echoed throughout the evening with young attendees expressing appreciation for the event and having an opportunity to be heard which is seldom experienced in their day-to-day lives. One of the parents of a young attendee sent Prenicia a message after the event. They stated:
My son attended your youth mental health retreat today. We weren’t quite sure how he would respond to this type of an environment. I just wanted to let you know that before we even got out of the front door…he said ‘Attending the retreat was the best decision I have ever made.’ We live 35 minutes away. He talked the whole way home about how much fun he had in the sessions and how good the presenters were. He even said, ‘I made a new friend!’ This was an amazing and uplifting event for a kid who struggles most days with realizing his own self worth. All who were involved in supporting this event should be proud; you had an impact on many kids today. We are looking forward to the next retreat!
MYArts is committed to providing a space for youth visibility and resiliency. For more information about Seein’ is Believin’ please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their site at https://seein-is-believin.com/.
In September MYArts held space for Prenicia Clifton’s organization Seein’ is Believin’, which aims to address youth mental health and young adult preparation. The event, Feeding Our Bellies, Feeding Our Souls: The Mother’s Mental Health Moment, was held in response to recent community tragedies, including a devastating mother-daughter murder-suicide and the loss of a Seein’ […]