by Madelyn Torres and Gary Axelbank
August 3, 2018
With so many obvious and sometimes hidden health issues that affect the Bronx, officials believe that in order to solve them awareness is an important first step.
To take that step when it comes to mental health the NYC Mural Arts Project for the Department of Health, partnered with First Lady Chirlane McCray’s ThriveNYC initiative in putting together a three-tier mural at the step street on 176th street between Jerome Avenue and Davidson Avenue in Mount Hope.
At Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting that celebrated the completion of the work by Harlem artist Jon Souza and other community members in coordination with Community Access, Souza was clear about how the imagery helps combat mental illness.
“How can we use our everyday strength to make us heroes and make us feel strong?” he asked. “So that’s why we had kind of a comic book and a Superhero type of theme.”
Chief Executive Officer of Community Access Steve Coe said that part of the intent is for the project to break down the stereotypes associated with mental health issues. The illustration of a couple carrying a baby in a stroller thinking about the baby becoming a successful a superhero makes that point.
“People have these labels, people are mentally ill, people are homeless, but then when they have a home, all of a sudden they have all these opportunities for all of their skills and interests to come out, whether they are artists or whether they like to cook or whether they like to do other things.”