About

Leading with our heart and soul in mental health care means focusing on our emotional, instinctual and spiritual intelligence.

It means talking about self-love, care, compassion, resilience, courage, empathy and faith before talking about ‘mental illness’.

It means focussing on wellness, recovery and strengths, instead of illness, limitation and abnormality.

Mission

The Babyfacedassassin’s mission to improve mental health care is motivated by the following:

  • To promote non-medical approaches to mental health care in the community.
  • To create acceptance whereby psychological, emotional and spiritual distress has been met with fear, judgment and oppression.
  • To encourage people to self-advocate for their mental health care needs.

Vision

A mental health care system that is heart and soul based!

The Babyfacedassassin upholds a vision which draws from healing arts that promote the individual’s choice and supports their strengths and ability to change – recovery is possible from ‘mental illness’! Our focus needs to be on how we support our selves and each other through our psychological, emotional and spiritual challenges, and on educating each other about how to self-care for our mental health from a loving, compassionate and courageous place.

The Babyfacedassassin represents self-care for our mental health in empowering, sustainable ways that contribute positively to the community. Based on the lived experience of C.C. Myers, this artistic activist project hopes to inspire people to care for their mental health in the way they know is right for them.

How do we lead with our heart and soul?

To lead with you heart and soul means participating in the healing process, making choices based on your personal goals, focussing on wellbeing instead of illness, and accepting the body, mind and soul as equal parts of the total human frame. We can strengthen the heart and soul in the following ways:

Photographer: Shami Kiely, Caveboy Studio

Photographer: Shami Kiely, Caveboy Studio

Creative Arts – poetry, visual arts, music, theatre, dance, sculpture, multi-media

People support and improve their mental health by participating in the Creative Arts, and not just in a therapeutic setting. Dance, visual, sculptural, literary, musical, photographic and theatrical arts are some of the ways emotions are expressed in a positive way. People experiencing mental health challenges can benefit significantly from creative arts practice.

We also make meaning from artwork and connect with others through the symbolism and storytelling that art can evoke. Depression is often associated with meaninglessness and the Creative Arts are a beautiful way to re-ignite a sense of self-discovery, transformation and significance. By nature we are fertile creatures, who birth children, dreams and visions. The freedom and catharsis that comes with play and self-expression forms the very basis of Art Therapy. There is no sound, word, movement or image that cannot divine how one feels.

While the field of art therapy is relatively new, the idea that art making can be a form of therapy is very old, and art making is one of the most ancient forms of healing … Art has always been used to chronicle and portray a wide range of emotions and experiences, from profound joy to the deepest sorrow, from triumph to trauma. Since our earliest recorded history, art has also served as a means of reparation, rehabilitation, and transformation and has been used to restore physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing.

Cathy A. Malchiodi, The Art Therapy Sourcebook, 2007

Photographer: Shami Kiely, Caveboy Studio

Embodiment Arts – yoga, martial arts, meditation and exercise

While the mind may be the source of despair, anguish and chaos, the body is always strong in the present moment. Learning to connect with your body is an immense resource in the face of challenging thinking and any practice that teaches an individual how to connect deeper within their body is potentially life saving.

What does it mean to connect with your body? It’s as simple as holding your heart and feeling its beat. It’s as easy as following the flow of your breath. It’s the sensations in your body that can distract you from your thoughts and take you to a place of calm, presence and self-awareness. You heart is a powerful muscle. It will always out-beat your mind.

Yoga, meditation and martial arts that explore the bodies inner world, demonstrate that bringing awareness to the physical body is just  as important as to the mind. The beauty of having such an intimate relationship with one’s own body is that it is always available and therefore, provides self-support, freeing an individual from reliance on outside sources that may not always be accessible.

Body awareness also softens the heavily analytical modes of thinking that come with psychotherapies.

Photographer: Shami Kiely, Caveboy Studio

Sacred Arts – meaning-making activities

In an epoch where religion and spirituality is both questioned and highly revered, a sense of confusion about how or where to find meaning in life often results in a crisis of the self. This can lead to depression or at its most extreme, suicide.

The Babyfacedassassin believes that individuals benefit from connecting with something meaningful. She maintains that our ability to  bring meaning-making practices into our life can be a great source of nourishment, resilience and faith. We can chose what is meaningful and what is Sacred in our lives. Cultivating a sense of the Sacred may be based on:

  • having an affinity with a spiritual path
  • pursuing a creative art
  • enacting ritual and ceremony
  • nurturing life-long friendships
  • committing to union with a beloved
  • generating community
  • upholding traditional men’s and women’s business
  • dedicating oneself to a cause or purpose
  • experiencing the divine through children
  • treasuring precious objects and scrap-books of memories
  • communing with nature and the animal kingdom
  • devoting oneself to a higher truth or yogic path
  • integrating indigenous practices into life
  • upholding family traditions
  • or simply offering up a silent prayer under the glow of a full moon

However the Sacred is evoked in one’s life, The Babyfacedassassin encourages people to develop their own Sacred Arts because they cultivate hope and courage.
They create magic where there is disenchantment, honouring where there is dishonouring, and connection where there is an overwhelming sense of loss.

Community endeavours that promote healing arts will improve our overall wellbeing.

Drawing from healing arts that focus on change and transformation, compassion and self-sovereignty rather than ‘mental illness’, will tremendously improve our mental health and create a system of care that embraces the fullness of the human condition.

Love Always,

C.C. Myers

The Babyfacedassassin