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As we recognize National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month amidst the coronavirus pandemic, we know that the added economic stress, social isolation, loss of loved ones and myriad hardships that accompany the pandemic are causing more people to consider suicide. Suicide prevention is more important now than ever. Join us in urging Congress to pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, designating 9-8-8 as the universal three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Statement by the American Art Therapy Association on Law Enforcement Response to Mental Health Crises
The American Art Therapy Association urgently calls on lawmakers to invest in community mental health services and shift response to mental health and substance abuse emergencies from law enforcement. Trained mental health professionals can mitigate deadly and harmful incidents and reduce the number of unnecessary jail and psychiatric hospital admissions of people experiencing mental health and substance abuse crises.
Mindy Jacobson-Levy, MCAT, ATR-BC, LPC, HLM DVATA
To date, I’ve had a 40-year work history in the field of art therapy. I worked in an inpatient unit for 18 years, and concomitantly developed my private practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Other than a brief period when I was laid off from my inpatient job in 1996, I never had an extended period of time to just make art. Who would imagine that a “wish” to have a few months to do just that would turn into an ongoing altered book about my experience during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Margaret Carlock-Russo, AATA President
After July’s virtual member meeting, members told us they wanted to learn more about AATA’s next steps in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I)—and hear more from Gary Smith, our DE&I consultant. In response, we are excited to share with you this webinar, “Leading with Intention to Promote Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.” It’s an hour-long conversation with Gary Smith, co-founder of the IVY Planning Group, about how we create sustainable, systemic change for our organization and profession. I hope you’ll watch it, but also join us in this journey to ensure that AATA creates a welcoming, safe, diverse environment for all people from all walks of life—not just in this moment but for the long haul.
On August 28, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced appointments to the Advisory Board on Art Therapy — the first step to implementing the art therapy license, which took effect on July 1, 2020.
Appointments to the Advisory Board on Art Therapy:
• Brenda Bonuccelli of Richmond, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
• Gretchen Graves of Henrico, Art Therapist, Richmond Hospital Education Program
• Anne Mills of Alexandria, Art Therapist, Art Therapy Services
• Leila Saadeh of Richmond, Art Therapist
• Holly Zajur of Richmond, Founder and President, Connect Wellness
The AATA congratulates each appointee for this accomplishment and thanks them for their service to the art therapy profession.
Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair
Registration for our virtual conference, Art Therapy Connected: Advancing Mental Health in a Virtual World is open! The conference is an exceptional education and networking opportunity that provides attendees with flexibility and a library of up to 57 hours of on-demand learning! We invite you to join us!
The conference will be held over three days, on Saturday, October 24, Sunday, November 1 and Saturday, November 7. The virtual program will feature leading art therapists who will share information to expand your knowledge, reinvigorate your career and inspire you during these unprecedented times. You will be able to learn in the comfort and safety of your home. If you are not able to attend presentations in real time, you can still access the sessions via the on-demand library. (Plus you will save on travel expenses!)
AATA’s Multicultural Committee has launched a digital art project, the Healing Quilt, for which we encourage art therapy professionals, students, local chapters, and graduate and undergraduate programs to contribute a digital copy of an artwork. Review the specifications and submit your entry here!
There are no fees for submitting an entry, but we encourage you to consider donating to support the Pearlie Roberson Annual Award, and other projects directed by the AATA Multicultural Committee. Your entry may not show up immediately in the gallery – please allow up to 48 hours for your entry to appear.
Featured Member: Edith Juanah, MS in Art Therapy Candidate
As a studying art therapist and student, my professional and research goals surround the topic of race, social justice and racism. I am currently exploring the impact of art therapy on the effects of racial micro aggressions on African-American college students at FSU. My goal is to use a social justice approach to art therapy as a form of treatment for historical and cultural trauma carried through generations within the African-American community. As a Black student at a primarily white college, the recent race related events and the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McCain, Ahmaud Arbury, Botham Jean, Philando Castile and many more drive and motivate me to be an advocate for my community and my clients of color.
Every few years the AATA gathers information from members for a survey about their careers, places of employment, licenses held, and other demographic information that can help us better understand our members, their work and the diversity of our community. We're hoping that you will help us in collecting this vital information by taking 5-10 minutes to complete the Personal Info section of your MyAATA profile. The association will be sharing key findings about this demographic information with members and the public. Your responses will not be tied to identifying information in publications or content related to the demographics.
Follow the steps below to enter your responses:
• Login to your MyAATA profile
• Once logged in, you will be on your main profile page
• Click on the Account tab
• Click on the Personal Info section on the left-hand menu
• Once completed, it is important that you hit Save at the bottom of the page
As we hit the six-month mark in a pandemic, we wanted to take a moment to revisit the resources available to our members. AATA has been maintaining a coronavirus resource page online and will continue to do so. We also released the results of a survey about how coronavirus has changed the lives of art therapists and the communities they serve.
However, since pandemic news has become part of our daily lives, we are no longer sending weekly email updates specifically related to coronavirus. Instead, we will integrate it into all our regular communications platforms. Please continue to check our webpage [arttherapy.org/covid-19-resources/] for resources, to seek and find support on our member forum, and contact us anytime at email@example.com or via social media for additional information or with ideas on how we can support you during this pandemic.
We continue to be inspired everyday by the work of our members on the frontlines of this pandemic. Thank you for all you do!
Art Therapy in the News
Memphis Business Journal
An art therapist since 2012, Paige Scheinberg’s passion for the arts led her to create ON Consulting. Since 2016, the firm has developed and offered art-based programs and services to help people learn, grow, heal and cultivate sustainable happiness and wellness.
The Alzheimer's Association Hudson Valley Chapter is offering a free virtual program that will give people with dementia and their families an opportunity to socialize and express themselves. Something for Alz: Expressive Art with Bethel Woods, which began earlier this month and will continue into October, consists of 45-minute Zoom sessions led by a licensed art therapist.
The Herald Review
As the new school year begins, brain experts are reminding parents and educators that kids shouldn’t only be focused on reading, writing and math, especially during a pandemic. Kids should also be singing, dancing and painting. Often, arts education is seen as a frill, but growing research suggests it boosts educational performance. The arts aren’t a luxury; they fill an essential human need.
The AATA's Art Therapy Today includes a digest of the most important news selected for the AATA from thousands of sources. Guest articles may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Publication of any guest article is at the sole discretion of the AATA. The opinions expressed and/or contents of guest articles, advertisements, and external links included in any AATA publication do not represent the positions or policies of the AATA. The AATA makes no warrenty or representation concerning the accuracy of such content.