SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde (left) and artist Sam English (right) stand beside Mr. English’s painting commissioned by SAMHSA.
Using Art To Raise Awareness Around Behavioral Health
SAMHSA recently unveiled a painting by award-winning artist Sam English. He was specifically chosen to create this painting because of his familiarity with the prevention and recovery populations. SAMHSA recently unveiled a painting by award-winning artist Sam English. He was specifically chosen to create this painting because of his familiarity with the prevention and recovery populations. The painting echoes SAMHSA’s four core messages:
- Behavioral health is essential to health.
- Prevention works.
- Treatment is effective.
- People recover.
The painting was commissioned to help raise awareness about the roles of families and the community in prevention of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
Born on June 2, 1942, in Phoenix, AZ, Mr. English’s parents are Blanche Marie Delorme English, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of Belcourt, ND, and Samuel Elliot English, a member of the Redlake Band of Chippewa Indians, Redlake, MN.
On Sam English’s website, he describes his life as an artist and his decision to stop drinking. He says, “I took my first drink at age 14, to be part of a crowd. . . . That first drink lasted for 25 years until I was 39.” These days, Mr. English says, his art is a healing process. He’s been in recovery since 1981.
Read the complete SAMHSA blog on this topic.
Like Sam English, many individuals choose to speak out about their recovery. To honor Alcohol Awareness Month, here are a few quotes from individuals who recently added their own voice to “Voices for Recovery” on the Recovery Month website:
—“Life is great and I try to do everything I can to express to the people in our communities that recovery works.”
—“Today I’m employed, medically insured, I pay taxes, I volunteer, I have a registered automobile with auto insurance, a valid driver’s license, and I am able to give back to my community. I have a relationship with my family today and a community of friends that I cherish.”
—“I am here to encourage people to realize that no matter how far down we’ve been, the possibility of overcoming our challenges is not impossible; though not
easy, it can be done.”
—“I am now 13 months sober, but things are different now. The reason is because I had always tried to stop on my own. I never got help, from God or from others. I never completely surrendered to God. I never dealt with my past, and I never loved myself.”
—“I have been clean and sober for 21 years. I am working with youth with serious emotional disorders and behavioral issues and families and giving back for the quality of life that I do not ever take for granted anymore.”
For more information, visit Recovery Month’s Voices for Recovery.