In September, a unique event in Honolulu will probe the connection between art and mental health through a series of lectures, workshops and interactive activities.

Keynote presenters at the inaugural Hawaii Art and Mental Health Summit include Tanya Yamanaka Aynessazian and Sherri Thal of the Big Island. Together they will discuss how pursuing freedom of creative self-expression has helped them overcome depression, complacency and political inaction.

Workshop presenters include Matt Del Rosario (also known as Lauhala Matt), founder of the Hawaii-based arts and cultural non-profit organization Flow Kakou; John B. Kim, who incorporates arts-based interventions into his clinical therapy practice with children, adolescents and families; Mayu Langford, a music therapist and holistic health practitioner who provides music therapy to adults with mental health and developmental challenges; and Eugene-Kristofher “Eukarezt” Menor, a graffiti and tattoo artist who has used art as a healing tool in international humanitarian work.

The event will also include an  “Arts Playground” where attendees can participate in a series of interactive experiences.

The summit is sponsored by Mental Health America of Hawaii, the Hawaii Arts Alliance and NAMI Hawaii. It is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6 at Pomaikai Ballrooms in Honolulu. Admission is $45. Register here.

Sutter Health Kahi Mohala is sponsoring consumer scholarships including limited neighbor island travel. To apply for a consumer scholarship click here.

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