ABOUT THE MISSION
I’d like to take a few moments to share my vision for the AdDAB community and this website.
Primarily, this site is a chronicle of my own mental wellness journey. This is an outlet for me to journal, create art and connect with others. As mentioned on the “About the Artist” page, part of why I am offering artwork for sale is due to the impact of my fibromyalgia and mental illness diagnoses. Working in the same capacity long-term may not be viable. If not, I’d love to find another avenue to support myself. If that happens to be something I really enjoy doing, all the better.
I made a major career change three years ago and moved from radio to the healthcare field. (Yes, you read that right.)
This change was motivated by feeling unfulfilled in “meaningless” work. I was enriching business owners without meaningfully contributing or making any lasting impact. Then I joined the Red Cross Disaster Team. I took over event and marketing planning for major local fundraising events for non-profits I cared deeply for. However, it wasn’t itching the scratch enough.
So I left my near six-figure income and stable radio career to become an assistant at a Community Mental Health Center in the Compliance department making about half the income. That decision reinforced the concept that money is not the most important element of a job. (Granted, for me, I’ve tangled up money with how much I’m valued and appreciated in my job, but that’s another post for another time.) I will forever be grateful that they allowed me to grow my career quickly over those next few years, becoming a director of multiple departments and part of the leadership team across our four companies.
While my job is not “frontline” and hands on, I’ve been able to extract a sense of fulfillment from knowing that I am supporting many aspects of our day-to-day operations; assisting in decisions that directly impact our clients or the direction our services head; as well as being able to problem solve pain points for our clinicians to make the delivery of service more efficient and meaningful.
Meaning and feeling connected has been something I have been chasing for a long time. One of my biggest fears in potentially losing my ability to work in a traditional capacity is losing deep meaning and feeling disconnected from a sense of community and contribution to the greater good.
I am trying to find ways I can weave both a sense of community and contribution into the mission and focus on the AdDAB community. The forums and journaling help to create a network of positivity, support and hope for others, as well as myself.
On the contribution side, I have identified three primary forms of contribution AdDAB will provide:
Donations and fundraising for mental health and wellness non-profits.
I plan to provide Art Sponsorship (link) opportunities to individuals and organizations at no cost, allowing them to share their connection to mental health. They will be able to share AdDAB’s services and mission, as well as raise funds for the mental wellness NFP of their choosing.
Additionally, one artist proof of every painting is held back specifically for not-for-profit (NFP) fundraising opportunities.
On Fridays, I plan to feature AdDAB community members who want to share their experiences, their art, create content, etc. Consider this a spotlight feature where you can shine and return what you learn with the community.
I intend to expand the art gallery to include artwork for purchase from other artists as well over time.
Childhood education for mental wellness
This one is the most personal and important to me. I’ve realized in my adult years that a lot of my challenges and “quirks” can be attributed largely to aspects of my childhood. As I’ve attended my Partial Hospitalization Program, I can only describe it as Mental Health Bootcamp, where we undergo 25 therapy groups a week that pull from all the different types of therapies and skill groups they use.
I have found myself repeatedly thinking about how beneficial this base knowledge on mental health skills (deep breathing, coping with grief or guilt, self-esteem, etc.) would be so valuable to our youth when they are developing and in some of their most vulnerable states. Since kids do physical education and health as mandatory leaning, why in the world wouldn’t we arm them with positive skills and education on their mental health as well?
I plan to use funds raised through art sales to establish a pilot program in my state. The dream would be to build a curriculum appropriate for elementary, middle, high school and college-aged youth. Upon successful pilot programs, this could expand the curriculum to other schools and states.