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Brooklyn, Bronx murals spark convos about mental health

The New York City Health Department hopes the murals both beautify the neighborhoods and change perceptions about mental health.

The city’s health department is planning three new murals for Brooklyn and the Bronx that aim to put a spotlight on mental health, and you can help bring them to life.

The murals, which will be painted in Morrisania, Mount Hope and Crown Heights, are an expansion of the NYC Mural Arts Project, which aims to use the mural-making process as a way to spark discussions on mental health.

Local artists, people with mental health conditions and peer specialists, who are trained to support those with mental health conditions, collaborated through weekly workshops to design the murals.

“By supporting people with mental health conditions and strengthening the bonds within our communities, the NYC Mural Arts Project is part of the City’s effort to bring neighborhoods together and change the conversation around mental health,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett in a statement.

Members of the public can help paint parts of these murals at two Community Paint Fests: On Saturday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1125 Grand Concourse in the Bronx and on Saturday, May 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1224 Park Place, Brooklyn.

First Lady Chirlane McCray, who spearheaded ThriveNYC and leads other city mental health and substance misuse efforts, said in a statement that sharing “joyful” art that also has a strong message helps educate and beautify neighborhoods.

“When people see positive reflections of mental well being where they live, it helps put an end to stigma, isolation and misinformation,” she added.

The Morrisania mural in the Bronx will be above the elevated Prospect Avenue subway stop; the Mount Hope mural, also in the Bronx, will be on the Davidson building on the 176th street corridor between Jerome Avenue and Davidson Avenue; and the Crown Heights, Brooklyn mural will be at MS354, The School for Integrated Learning.