Past Projects

Manifesting Healthy Futures: 24/7 Voices and Visions of Wellness

Manifesting Healthy Futures: 24/7 Voices and Visions of Wellness is a peer-led project comprised of 24 stories written by authors with lived mental health experience interpreted by 24 visual artists.

In 2015, MHAI launched this brand new project — an inclusive, visible spectrum of programs and services to eliminate stigma and educate and encourage innovative approaches to ensure that mental health services are available throughout communities in Illinois. This campaign includes the leadership and voices of community members, incorporating new models of peer-led education and advocacy.

Click here to read all 24 stories.


Voices From Behind the Walls

From Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart:

Voices from Behind the Walls Part I raises the volume on an issue that’s been on mute for years: the incarceration of the mentally ill. Visual and written art serves as an indirect channel for inmates to transmit stories that have been consuming them for years. The collection of pieces exposes the deepest wounds that these men have lived with for so long.

The stories and corresponding artwork produced by some of the inmates who comprise the maximum security division of the Cook County Department of Corrections demonstrates a discrepancy between who they are inside, and the façade they maintain. In order to foster their open vulnerability, we must listen, understand, and empathize with their suffering. They will be judged by the court of law for their actions, and if they are guilty of their charges, they will be convicted by the state. However, by failing to understand their circumstances, we are only severing their punishment.

Click here to read the stories.