Morrisania mural puts spotlight on mental health

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MORRISANIA -

Mental health patients from the Acacia Network teamed up with the city Health Department to create a larger-than-life mural above the Prospect Avenue subway station.

For months, the patients and artist Aaron Lazansky-Olivas worked to create unique patterns to symbolize mental health. In the mural, a bird represents freedom, and people inside a heart represent unity.

Jane David went to art classes over the months and says the experience changed her.

"Depression, it was hitting me hard but I understand what it is now, and I feel good," she says.

Sharon McClean came up with the word "joy," which is featured on the front of the painting.

"I didn't know that painting could make you feel so relaxed, but it really does," she says.

The painters say they hope the mural helps stop the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

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