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Health care workers face stigmatization around mental health, and it is a painful reality ingrained in the DNA of the New York Says Thank You Foundation since its incorporation. In 2021+, we will pay close attention to what strains on mental wellbeing frontline healthcare providers have as they fight against COVID-19. 

Nurses, doctors, and frontline healthcare workers don’t just have to deal with physical injuries like cuts or broken bones. They also need mental health assistance from time to time for the stress of their jobs. However, there is a stigma in seeking help which can be seen as a weakness among these professions because they are constantly saving lives on the front lines of hospitals across America every day without taking breaks themselves, so it seems natural to think those brave individuals won’t show any signs of vulnerability by asking for professional counseling sessions too when things get tough at work.

The Covid-related mental health impacts on other vulnerable populations will be with us for years as well. For seventeen years, New York Says Thank You Foundation has uniquely sought to address complex mental health impacts of trauma by empowering survivors. This organization envisions a world where people across the globe seek and are encouraged to assist in healing post-traumatic stress disorder with transformative art that serves as models for others seeking help who have experienced significant adversity themselves. 

One way we seek to create a more resilient world is by fostering meaningful human connections. We do this both on an individual level and in communities all over the globe. This enables people who are suffering alone not only to know they’re not forgotten but also that there’s someone out there for them–someone with a shared experience of humanity.”

In what may be the most inspiring project of its type, our Stars of HOPE community-based healing arts program has positively impacted millions’ emotional recovery and resiliency. Our creative team designed a custom art kit distributed to communities in need following natural disasters or human-caused tragedy anywhere on Earth since 2003. Residents were invited to paint their own “Stars” with messages for peace during supervised sessions at local schools, churches, libraries, and other public gathering places near their homes. These beautiful creations are then paid forward to another community where they can serve as symbols of hope from thousands around the world who these tragedies have touched.

Our research-based Stars of HOPE formula is simple:
– We empower anyone to express compassion through creativity.
– And connect with people who need hope – anywhere in the world.
– Stars of HOPE uses art to create a community around a cause.

In the coming years, we will launch a new program, “Heal the Healers,” to help people traumatized by COVID-19. We offer creative workshops and group therapy, which has proven very effective in impacting other illnesses like PTSD.

 Stars of HOPE is a nonprofit organization that uses art to create a community around healing. Their Stars of Hope Healing Arts Bus will be traveling the East Coast, and you can sponsor or volunteer with them by creating stars for healthcare workers who continue to help us all through their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am grateful that Stars of HOPE is here today to help with the emotional support with everything that has gone on at Catholic Medical Center and our covid 19 response and what has happened not just with our patients but the families of our patients and our employees and their families. Together we can beat this.”
Joseph Pepe M.D.
President/CEO C.M.C.

Corporate volunteers have been using their creative abilities to paint messages of support for people struggling since 2007. This Stars of HOPE project has allowed millions more than ever before to be able to find comfort from the kind words that they might not otherwise hear, whether it’s someone losing a loved one or dealing with depression and anxiety or, more current, the pandemic.

 

Stars of HOPE and its corporate volunteers have created Stars of HOPE from home throughout the pandemic through our Virtual Workshops run by our resident Art therapists and teams. Each workshop has produced hopeful messages of hope and healing that become branded banners displayed in hospitals, senior centers, and forgotten communities across the U.S.

“This beautiful Star of HOPE was gifted to me today at CHOA at a moment when I needed it most."
Kitty Kettrey
Nurse at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta

At Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, a wagon-full of Stars was brought around for the nurses and staff to take home. They shared their smiling group photo in front of their banner and pictures with their chosen stars.

“We as a country often fail to take care of the acute long term emotional needs of disaster survivors,” stated April Naturale, a leading expert on emotional recovery and resiliency disaster relief programs and a Board Member of New York Says Thank You Foundation.

“Something as simple as seeing a colorful Star of HOPE daily as people walk or drive through areas turned upside-down by tragedy can be a powerful symbol of support to someone at their darkest moment. It reminds people they are not alone. There are good people out there who care about them, and they will be able to get through this like other survivors of  tragedy, many of whom create Stars of HOPE to ‘pay it forward in a powerful peer-to-peer support dynamic.”

We hope that this article has provided you with some insight into how art can be used to make an impact on someone’s life. One of the best ways for you to get involved is by donating or hosting a project in your community. If you would like more information about donating, please visit our donation page, and if you are interested in hosting a project locally, email us at info@starsofhopeusa.org!

Team up with Stars of HOPE and show the world you care.

Help us make art sessions available to healthcare workers who responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and survivors of tragedy.

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