Mental health advocate speaks to Rotary club

Jake Old • Updated Jan 18, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Jane G. Baxter, project director for the Healing Arts Project Inc., spoke to the Lebanon Noon Rotary Club on Tuesday.


The Healing Arts Project supports the creative arts for people in mental health and addiction recovery. The organization offers classes related to the arts.

Baxter is a mental health advocate and retired public health nutritionist, and she has been involved with other Nashville-area advocates in taking the message of mental health recovery to the community in order to raise awareness and reduce stigma.

Mental health became a bigger issue for Baxter when her oldest daughter struggled with mental health issues in the 90s.

“She tried to take her own life, but she survived,” Baxter said. “She became a psychiatrist, and every day she helps others because she knows what they’re going through. Being a parent of a person who has been through that struggle, parents also take on the role of being advocates and supporters.”

Baxter said the arts are a great outlet for people who struggle with mental health issues or addiction.

“Healing Arts Project is for people in mental health and addiction recovery to express themselves in writing and arts and have value within themselves for what they’re doing,” she said.

The art is expressive and unique for each individual. It is normally themed around faith, hope and recovery.

Baxter shared some of the works from people who benefitted from the Healing Arts Project, including prose, poetry and visual art.

The works have also been shared in public places, such as a Nashville courthouse.

“Chancellors of the courts have been very supportive,” Baxter said. “People are in a very tense situation going to court, and they have found that having art that is about life and living and hope has been a good influence on people coming to court.”

For more information about the Healing Arts Project, visit healingartsprojectinc.org. 


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