MHA Mural Painted by Participant Volunteer

0
557
Executive Director Steven Cobb and artist Michael Cain share a laugh in front of the wall mural Cain painted for the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County. Cain titled his work "Lost in My Rainbow."

Article Contributed by
Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County

Participants and staff of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County (MHA) are enjoying artist Michael Cain’s work “Lost in My Rainbow,” a mural he finished in the spring on one of the walls in the common area.

In describing his work, Cain said he wanted to show that color is still part of the lives of those with mental illness.

At a recent luncheon MHA Executive Director Steven Cobb recognized Cain for all of the painting he has done for the Jamestown recovery center. Cobb noted, “My favorite of all the paintings in my home is the one that Mike did.” In addition to his artistic work, Cain has painted the terracotta floor in the sensory room, the floor in the large common area, and the offices.

Cain has been volunteering at the MHA for “years.” He describes himself as among the many who have found a connection there. He said that he thinks the common area, a gathering place for participants, should be called the “Loneliness Room,” as so many people, especially MHA’s participants, suffer from loneliness. “It’s not so much that people want to be heard,” he said, “as they want to be understood.”

The Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County commits to radical acceptance, empowerment, and advocacy for our community members who struggle with mental health and substance use.

The MHA is a peer recovery center offering support groups and individual coaching for people looking to improve their lives, deepen wellness, thrive in recovery, or support those on a recovery path. Peers use their personal stories to help people find recovery in their own lives in their own way.

Anyone with questions or in need of services for themselves or a family member suffering from a mental health or substance use disorder is welcome to call or stop in at the Jamestown recovery center at Door 14 in the rear of the Gateway Center, 31 Water Street. It is open Monday – Thursday, 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Hours for the north county recovery center at Grace Lutheran Church, 601 Eagle Street in Dunkirk, are 9:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, and 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

To learn more about the Mental Health Association, call (716) 661-9044 or visit MHAChautauqua.org or facebook.com/MHAChautauqua. A schedule with descriptions of MHA’s more than five dozen groups and classes is at MHAchautauqua.org/groups.