SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - Friday 9th, The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) participated in SXM DOET by holding an art workshop, Love & Semicolon, to raise awareness for suicide through the arts.
Magueda Jackson, a local artist, created a piece to represent the meaning of the semicolon – “When it comes to grammar, the semicolon is often used when the author could’ve ended the sentence but chose not to,” says Doctor Naeem Juliana as he gave the introduction.
However in the case of suicide, it used for survivors who chose to keep living. “You are the author, and the sentence is your life,” she says. During the session, the clients, volunteers, and staff recreated the Jackson’s piece while still making it their own.
The next day, MHF had two more projects take place – “Beautifying MHF” where everyone repainted the building and created a mural in front of Faraja. The design was taken from one of the client’s drawings and recreated by Carina Alcin and Evita, two local artists of St. Maarten.
The other was project that took place was the “Green Thumbs Project” – people got together to place trees, plants, and seeds into the ground – creating a garden for the Faraja clients to admire, take care of, and benefit from.
Although SXM DOET was only two days, it didn’t stop there for MHF. On Tuesday, thanks to SharLisa Dominguez Peterson, a producer in the Caribbean entertainment industry and diaspora, students from Howard University (in Washington DC) who had given up their spring break to do some volunteer work, came and repainted the inside of the MHF building.
The Mental Health Foundation says that they are very thankful to all the volunteers who took time out of their schedule to assist, to those who donated seeds and plants, and to the students who gave up their spring break to help those who are in need. They also send a special thanks to SXM DOET and Oranje Funds for making these activities possible by providing the funds.
CUTLINE: Magueda Jackson, a local artist.