Southborough art exhibit spotlights Mental Health Awareness Month

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Southborough – “NOTHING TO HIDE: Mental Illness in the Family,” a touring photo-text display, is scheduled to be displayed across Southborough throughout the month of May, culminating in a gallery finale featuring appetizers and live music Thursday, May 31, at the Southborough Community House, 28 Main St., from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Southborough Youth and Family Services (SYFS) will use this poignant art exhibit to help dispel the harmful stereotypes, myths and misconceptions about mental illness.

“I’m excited to bring this exhibit to Southborough because it encourages open and honest conversations about mental health that don’t include shame,” said SYFS Director Sarah Cassell. “And while the exhibit talks about major diagnoses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, we want to make sure people are also talking about the more day-to-day things that affect our mental wellness, like stress and divorce. It’s not an uncommon need to talk through things like that, but often people are afraid to start the conversation.”

“NOTHING TO HIDE” provides people coping with mental illness and their families an opportunity to come out of the shadows and into the public eye. The compelling stories of children, siblings, parents, grandparents and extended family members demonstrate strength, courage, integrity, and accomplishment in the face of adversity and stigma.

The exhibit will be displayed across Southborough. Photos will be displayed at the SYFS office, Recreation Department, the Southborough Public Library, the Southborough Police Department, Town House, St. Matthew’s Church, Pilgrim Congregational Church, St. Anne’s Church, Middlesex Savings Bank, and the Southborough Senior Center. All of the Southborough public schools, including Algonquin Regional High School, will participate as well. Visit www.southboroughtown.com/youth-and-family-services for a full list.

The finale event will feature hors d’oeuvres and live music, as well as information tables about mental health. The event is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $5 per person at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission.

The exhibit was created by Family Diversity Projects, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Amherst, Mass.

For information about the resources available to Southborough residents, contact Sarah at 508-481-5756, ext. 1.