Anne Lai Ping Chan Ho

Reflect, Reveal, Reach Out, Heal

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I have compiled a booklet of art and poetry created by those who experience mental illness, which applies the concept of occupational therapy. My aim is to strengthen communication and trust between artists and therapists, so that the journey of healing can begin.

The idea for this project originated when I spent time in Waimarino Hospital last year, and wrote poems to accompany paintings created by a fellow patient. 

This project means a lot to me. I am bipolar, and like many people who suffer from mental illness, I have lost so much: jobs, a relationship, confidence, sometimes even self esteem. When our illness is exposed, we are stigmatised and discriminated against. I want to tell the world that having mental illness is not necessararily all bad; for me, it has been a blessing in disguise.

I have never given up on me; instead, I went to study, first at Toi Ora, then one year at AIT followed by nine years studying at Auckland University. Since I graduated with a BA at the age of 57, I have become an author; writing poems is something I love, and I also paint and compose music. With these newly acquired passions I open different doors, and I'm determined to do anything I can to help those like myself.

This is the first of many projects to counter stigmatisation, to research and learn about mental illness with the hope of finding therapies to release the suffering caused by antipsychotic medication. This project is also a platform for those special artists to be acknowledged. 

Your generous donations will help to cover the costs of publishing the booklet. Your participation in this project is not just monetary - you are also supporting our efforts to counter stigmatisation.

Many thanks!