One life. One story. One transformation.
Everyone has a mental health story. This is Akayla’s.
Her life was on the line. Akayla was at a crossroads: she could continue the way she was going which, she knew, would lead to death. Or she could make the the radical decision to do whatever it took to support her mental wellness.
Mental illness started affecting Akayla when she was just five years old. In and out of hospitals throughout her adolescence, with multiple suicide attempts in her history, and self-harm a regular part of her life, at age 18 she knew something had to change.
For Akayla, that meant leaving behind the home she had always known and creating a new one for herself, one that was centered around wellness and recovery. Even though that meant being classified as “homeless” and switching between safe houses and transitional homes on a sometimes weekly basis.
When it comes to mental health, our journeys to wellness are never straightforward. It’s never as easy as “looking on the bright side,” or “being more grateful for the good things in life”. On the other hand, stories of others’ success can be inspirational and life-changing, especially when they’re told freely and fearlessly.
Akayla’s journey isn’t over. These days, she uses her story to saves lives. When she spoke at Art With Impact’s workshop at Thompson Rivers University, students were transformed, saying “My main takeaway is not to be ashamed. It’s more common that you think,” and “It’s okay to need help.” In a culture that glosses over mental illness and oversimplifies the realities of seeking wellness, these insights are revolutionary. Life changing.
You have the power to transform lives through your generosity. Your $40 donation buys one eye-opening, mind-changing Art With Impact workshop for one student. Would you consider supporting one, two, maybe even five students in their journey toward wellness and change?
Akayla recently said to me, “if one person realizes they can get through this because I told my story? Great.” And that’s what you’re doing when you make a donation: changing one student’s life, one story and one experience at a time.
Because of you, Art WIth Impact is quietly revolutionizing the way young people approach mental health, one life and one story at at time. Through art and stories, we are giving young people the space to figure out their own paths to wellness. You are doing this through your financial support, by volunteering, by sharing your stories. You are changing the world.
The data are clear that this approach works. When you give young people the opportunity to ask themselves questions through art and conversation with one another through Art With Impact workshops, a vast majority consistently report an increased likelihood to seek support if and when they need it.
As we begin the season of giving and giving thanks, would you take a few moments today to support young people in their journeys? Would you consider supporting one person every month through an ongoing, monthly $40 contribution? We have a long way to go to change our society, and you have the power to drive this change.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and your gracious support:
Founder and Executive Director
Art With Impact