Mental health awareness varies from country to country. Being back in LA, it’s refreshing to see that more emphasis is placed on acknowledgement, understanding, assisting, and healing. If you are in the greater Los Angeles area, you may have heard on the radio or from word of mouth about the Why We Rise art exhibit and event. Thanks to the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Services alongside the Mental Health Services Act; people are able to participate in educating themselves and being part of the solution to bridge the gap between identifying mental health and treating it in a healthy way.
Statistics like only 20 percent of children who have mental illnesses are diagnosed, leaves one to wonder what is happening to the rest of the neglected kids. Additionally, violence and suicide are the second and third leading causes of death for people in the US who are between the ages of 15-34. Since most of my friends and I are part of this data set, the findings are quite scary. If you are reading this and you are indifferent to these ages, I’ll remind you that if you have kids, 30 percent of students report signs of depression.
Treating mental health doesn’t necessarily mean giving medication or pills. Support and healing can come in various ways. In the art exhibit, there were many different types of pieces using multiple different kinds of medium. Some looked like traditional artwork, while others were more intricate and immersive, which made it fun to ask each other what their interpretation was. Funny enough, some of my own interpretations of them were completely off and I was able to learn the true basis behind the works once I overheard a tour guide explain them. Oh well, it’s still fun to guess.
Aside from mental health awareness, Why We Rise also aims to help the community with other issues that may not receive attention. They created a texting system called Take Action Now! This system allows anyone with a cell phone to have the power and opportunity to lend a hand when they see someone or something that needs help or assistance. For example, by texting a specific phrase to the number 31996, then the texter will be sent information on how to assist with said person. While we cannot predict how efficient the response time is or the extent of the quality of help that will be provided; This is a nice first step in helping out those in need, which can be used by almost everyone who has a mobile device. Open your mind and learn about what you, friends, or loved ones are going through.
If you are feeling the #fomoTo learn more about it, please visit
I am not sure if future installations will be held in the same spot, but it was located at
1726 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012