written by Domenica Mastromatteo

Artmania offers fun and exciting art classes believing art is a fundamental part of personal development. Most of our blog posts focus on the importance of art education and include information about the role of art in mental health. Hoping to challenge the stigma associated with mental health, our previous blog post challenged anxiety with art; providing an overview of the role of anxiety in child development.

Our commitment to raising awareness for mental illness brought Founder and Director of Artmania, Mary Hay (and our printmaking party) to Talk at The Top on Sunday January 24 on Grouse Mountain. It was part of an inspirational weekend of speakers, music, adventure, dialogue, leadership and art! The fourth annual mental health summit (Talk at The Top) began with a “Jam Session” night featuring four well-known, heartthrob, Vancouver artists. Greg Drummond, Westwinds, Dominique Fricot, and Savvie all performed a 20 min set within the intimate setting of the North Vancouver Hall Atrium. The evening was structured around Gabriel Green’s Pie Sessions. After the performances, the youth leadership interviewed the bands with quicker questions over a delicious piece of pie (donated by Savory Island Pie Company and Friends).

Talk at the Top “is a youth led, youth driven summit on mental health and wellness for youth. It is also a leadership event to encourage youth in our communities from Deep Cove to Pemberton, to talk about the challenges and the stigma associated with mental illness.” The event is organized by the North Shore Youth for Mental Health Group (NSY4MH) and co-founded by North Shore resident Deborah Maguire-Tucker, with funding provided through Bell Canada’s” Lets Talk” Program, CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) Andy & Cheryl Szocs, and Grouse Mountain. The NSY4MH’s mandate is “to create a safe environment where youth leaders gather in collaboration with community and service providers to strategically plan, initiate actions and events, to reduce stigmas associated with mental illness.”

For more information about NSY4MH and Talk at the Top visit: http://www.nsy4mh.com.