Brooklyn Murals Spread Mental Health Awareness
Mental health discussions come to the light thanks to a mural campaign that has sprung up in Brooklyn called You Are Not Alone. In honor of Mental Health month in May, prominent street artists have lent their brushes to the cause of promoting mental health. The You Are Not Alone murals offer striking yellow and black hued messages to let passers by know “You Are Not Alone.” The three murals in the You Are Not Alone campaign are located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Artists Jason Naylor, Dirty Bandits, and Adam Fu contributed to the beautiful project.
The “You Are Not Alone” Brooklyn street art campaign is the brainchild of longtime friends Annica Lyndenberg of Dirty Bandits art and Samantha Schutz - a writer and mental health advocate. The walls are to remind people that they are not alone and are indeed visible. Due to the longstanding stigma of mental illness, many people suffer in silence and are afraid to reach out to others for fear of judgment. Yet mental illness is quite common, as a large segment of the population suffers from it.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States (46.6 million people) experience mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experience an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias. Co-creator of the You Are Not Alone project Schutz writes about her anxiety disorder in her book ”I Don’t Want to Be Crazy.”
“One thing that we really want to come across is that these first (murals) were inspired by mental health issues but the beauty of that statement is that it applies to so many different struggles,” Schutz says.
“Mental health month is coming to a close but that doesn’t mean the discussion of mental health is over,” Schutz says.
Mental Health Awareness Month has ended, but mental health issues remain. And June is suicide prevention month.
Whether you live with mental illness or want to show your support to others, it is worth checking out the You Are Not Alone murals and spreading the love.
“The project is inspired by a compassion for those struggling with mental health issues,” according to Dirty Bandits website, yet “the murals have broad appeal and offer support to anyone who feels misunderstood, victimized, or abandoned. Each artist works in the same color palette and illustrates the phrase: You Are Not Alone. While the murals are unified, each artist brings his or her unique visual and emotional interpretation to the project. The aim is to grow the project beyond New York to other cities across the country in the months and years to come.”
Well-known NYC street artist Jason Naylor, whose colorful murals spread love and positivity around New York City, LA and the world, is one of the artists who painted for the You Are Not Alone mural project. Brooklyn artist Adam Fu — renowned for his neon lettering signs of protest and encouragement on beautiful murals from Miami to NYC — also created a mural for the project.
Annica Lyndenberg of Dirty Bandits created one mural in Greenpoint and also did a collaboration mural with Adam Fu in Bushwick. She paints clever and beautiful typography street art and artwork. I first came across her street art in Long Island, City, Queens, and have been a fan ever since. To check out the You Are Not alone murals, here are their locations:
402 McGuinness Boulevard, Greenpoint, Brooklyn - You Are Not Alone mural by Annica Lyndenberg of Dirty Bandits.
109 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn - You Are Not Alone mural by Jason Naylor.
75 Scott Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn - Adam Fu and Dirty Bandits street art collaboration
Work done by Dirty Bandits is fueled by Annica’s deep appreciation for type, her interest in story telling and dedication to brands and individuals working for social good.
@YouAreNotAloneMurals on Instagram
You Make My Feel Less Alone project website, where you can submit your work and help others feel less alone. Curated by author Samantha Schutz.
“I Don’t Want to Be Crazy,” memoir about living with anxiety by Samantha Schutz