Because LEM Mindfulness’ Vision is to contribute to the social transformation of all communities living and facing challenges of mental health, the organization came up with a creative plan that would not stigmatize anyone but rather attract everyone. That was to hold quarterly Art sessions.

Art presents as one of the different forms of therapy that can be used to keep one’s mental health in check. It can challenge one’s thinking levels and enable them to visualize their thoughts which can in turn be turned into a work of art.

It is rooted on the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental wellbeing that on the 10th September 2023, LEM Mindfulness held its first event in a conducive environment in the outskirts of town at a carefully selected venue_ Central Perk, Bukoto.

The event was aimed at promoting innovative approaches to tackle mental health issues through;

  1. Providing a safe environment to discuss the mental health challenges that the participants go through on a daily basis, and proposing the best coping strategies for them.
  2. Creating more awareness about mental health and depression through Art (painting) which was the main activity, Poetry, Music and mindful exercises.
  3. Providing some time for entertainment, relaxation, and fun to free the participants’ heart from stress, depression, and anxiety.

Target audience;             

Families that wanted to create a better bond, holiday makers, young children, people fighting addictions, anyone interested in promoting mental health awareness. The event was attended by 25 people (children and adults)

BREAKDOWN ON THE DAYS ACTIVITIES.

Face painting: Participants were at arrival painted on their faces at will whatever they wanted. This helped to kick start off the day’s activities with fun and Color.

Entertainment by Poetherapy Uganda: Poetherapy stands for Poetry and Therapy. Poetherapy Uganda, a platform that aims at fighting depression and promoting sustainable mental health within the youths, entertained the participants by staging some performances in Poetry, singing live with a guitar, and some dance performances. These were all geared to provide comfort, and create awareness about mental health.

Mindfulness activities: These were facilitated by Shoonya Uganda Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgement. It is a powerful tool for self-awareness, reducing stress & cultivating mindfulness. We can create a more fulfilling, positive life if only we put our minds to it. Members were taught how to take deep breath from the belly button, Laugh wholeheartedly, different practical techniques of relieving stress (clenching the fists so hard and later releasing with a big sigh, finding a quiet spot and screaming out so hard)

The Painting session: This was facilitated by Andyle Arts Uganda. Seated in the comfort on the ground, every painter was given a drawing canvas, different paint brushes and different paint colours.

Basic reading session: During   the painting breaks, as the painters waited for the background paint to dry, the Ready to learn foundation team facilitated a fun reading session with the children present. Children were encouraged to make reading part of their day to day culture just as much as they would spend time with toys, they read some story books. At the end of the day, the most outstanding painters were rewarded with some story books to take home.

CONCLUSION

We express our gratitude and appreciation to the partners that came on board to make this event a success and hope to see you on the next one:

The Rotaract club of Kampala North where we subscribe as one of their corporate partners, Garage women foundation, Read to learn foundation, Shoonya.

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