“The stigma of mental illness is a barrier for us to achieve our social, financial, educational, or vocational goals.”
Succeeding in life can mean different things to individuals with mental illness. Some want to avoid isolation and connect with family members, friends and their community. Others need to stick to their medical regimen to avoid hospitalizations. Yet others seek motivation to find a job.
In May 2015, Citiview received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a series of interactive performances designed to decrease the stigma related to mental illness and educate the public in Queens, NY. For months, members who auditioned to participate rehearsed under the supervision of professional actors from the Village Playhouse Theatre. Then, they performed in front of individuals with mental illness in shelters, residences, and treatment programs. The project culminated with three performances to the general public to mark May, Mental Health Awareness Month 2016. The response from the audience was positively overwhelming!
Goodwill NYNJ has operated Citiview in Long Island City, NY, since 1994. This clubhouse is a safe space committed to eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness, substance use, sexual orientation, and homelessness.