A Madera woman is putting together an art event to raise awareness for mental health issues.
Blanca Robledo came up with the idea after recently going through postpartum depression and suffering from anxiety.
“About three months ago, I had a baby and I ended up having postpartum,” Robledo said. “Because I was aware of what anxiety was, and I’ve done counseling and stuff like that, I was able to recognize that I wasn’t feeling well.”
But Robledo also talked to other people suffering from mental health issues and realized that they have even more difficulty in dealing with the challenge. That’s when she decided to organize an art competition that would bring together victims of mental health issues.
“Painting is a form of releasing stress, so that’s what brought that on,” Robledo said.
Painters who attend the event will get free art supplies and brochures with information on suicide hotlines as well as other educational materials.
“All kinds of artists are welcomed,” Robledo said. “They will get an 8x10 canvas. If they want to bring their own paint and brushes, they can, but they will also be supplied with those.”
The winner of the art competition will have his or her painting displayed at the Madera Government Center. Still, people are welcome to come and paint simply for fun if they don’t want to participate in the competition.
“We’re gonna vote and see which one people like,” Robledo said. “The one that gets chosen, they’re going to be able to display their art canvas at the Madera Government Center for the whole month of December.”
The Madera woman also has other plans in the near future to support mental health victims.
“My goal is to reach people through different forms,” she said. “The next thing that I plan to do, I’m going to probably do a support group where all kinds of people get together and talk about depression. I feel like a lot of people are scared or embarrassed to talk about their depression.”
Robledo said she will try to get some funding and buy books for victims of mental health issues.
“I personally have a book that I read that helped me with my anxiety,” she said. “Maybe I can get funding to help buy those books.”
No matter what kind of struggles they may be experiencing, Robledo invites all kinds of people to the event.
“Whatever it is,” she said. “If it’s just regular depression, if it’s anxiety, if it’s a panic attack, if it’s postpartum depression.”
The free event will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Mountain Mike’s Pizza, 2180 W. Cleveland Ave., in Madera. For more information and to register, email Robledo at firstname.lastname@example.org.