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EAST LANSING, Mich. — A series of mental health awareness murals were installed last week in downtown East Lansing, brought to the community by the Associated Students of Michigan State University’s (ASMSU) Mental Health Awareness Initiative. Several years ago, ASMSU commissioned local artist Mila Theroux to create a series of murals that bring awareness to mental health issues. There are seven murals in all, with six showcasing community members who suffered from mental health crisis and the seventh one serving to describe the project’s purpose and provide resources to those struggling. ASMSU had originally intended for these murals to be installed in downtown East Lansing; however, after they were completed in 2018, development projects in the downtown along with the COVID-19 pandemic caused the project to be delayed. More recently, ASMSU leadership and City of East Lansing staff partnered to successfully revitalize the initiative and install the murals on the south-facing wall of the Division Street Garage, across the alleyway from Starbucks.
“We were pleased to work with the leadership at ASMSU to install this important mural series in downtown East Lansing for public viewing,” said East Lansing Community Development Specialist Matt Apostle. “This project not only works to release the stigma surrounding mental health, but works to let community members who may be struggling know that they do not have to cope alone and that resources are available to them. With Mental Health Awareness Month coming up this May, this latest public art installation in downtown East Lansing is especially timely.”
“Mental health awareness is one of ASMSU's biggest priorities as an organization, so when this proposal came to our General Assembly, it made sense to fund it,” said ASMSU Public Relations Manager Caitlin Finerty. “We can't wait for the entire student population and East Lansing community to enjoy these murals.”
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