Friday, August 29, 2008

Arts and Recovery

from Gerald Butler


The greatest advantage I have gained from my experience with the Recovery
Band is that I am now positive that the arts play a vital role in the
recovery process. Whenever I was institutionalized they would
have us work on some sort activity that entailed creativity, and now
I know why. Artwork, music, poetry, acting, writing, etc. are vehicles
for us to tell our story. By telling our story we not only let others
see that recovery is possible, but the arts also provide us an opportunity
for self- examination and reflection. Many of us were born artists and
then became ill and the arts provide a way of recovering our basic nature
and self-esteem.

The Federal Government also realizes that the arts benefit recovery
as demonstrated by the August 7th meeting in Maryland featuring
Artists in Recovery of Philadelphia. The members of the Recovery
Band can attest to the positive effects music has had on our own recovery
and that of those who have worked with us. The band is based on Peer
Support and our music is a demonstration of how well it works. The first
time in my life I was ever around a group of people who loved me for
being me was during the first Peer Support training. This has been of
such value to me, that I would be remiss if I did not share it. The
best way for me to pass the message is musically. For others it may
be their poetry, art, stories, etc.

Thanks to Southwest Solutions, and Shirley Cockrell
, we soon will
have a program dedicated to mental health recovery and the arts. The
Center of Recovery & the Arts will provide a recovery enhanced environment
centered on creativity, support, and growth. Being a consumer herself,
Shirley has always put us first and foremost so we are guan teed the
support we will need. So far, all the leaders and staff I have met at
Southwest seem to have made some sort of personal commitment to making
our lives a little better. So I guess this center is a natural outgrowth
of that commitment, the Recovery Band is just glad to be a part of this

If you are a piano player start practicing, if you’re a singer start
hitting scales, writers should start honing your skills, artists should
be cleaning their brushes, poets need to take your work off the shelf.
The Recovery Enhanced Environment provides an atmosphere where folks
feel comfortable enough to simply be who they really are. Utilizing
Peer Support has worked like a charm for the band, and now we have an
opportunity to pass on to others what was given to us, HOPE. We do not
have an opening day yet, but will let you know soon.

Center for
Recovery & the Arts

mike performances, studio for art and music, peer support, Art exhibits,,
jam sessions, poetry/ journal, stories. Services Housing referrals,
treatment referrals, mental health/substance abuse information.

No comments: