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Butterflies recently landed on the side of Sadler Health Center at the corner of North Hanover and West Louther streets, and they aren’t flying away soon.

Instead, their creators hope the project will draw attention to mental illness.

Last summer, Carlisle Arts Learning Center’s Connect and ARTiculate students started an art project, Wings of Hope, to address mental illness and the growing number of teens struggling with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. The students sought to make the community more aware of mental illness, which is often stigmatized, underdiagnosed and undertreated.

Wings of Hope includes more than 300 ceramic handmade butterflies painted blue. Students chose the butterfly as a symbol of the transformation that can occur when a community provides access to resources that assist with mental illness.

Although the concept of Wings of Hope took hold last summer, the project continued to be developed throughout the year. Dickinson’s Montgomery and Community Service Programs contributed to the creation of the butterflies as did the 2018-19 ArtWorks! students and volunteers from businesses like Geodis.

Because Sadler Health Center provides accessible medical and behavioral health services to insured, uninsured and underinsured people, it provides a perfect wall for such a meaningful art installation, according to CALC.

“When people understand that mental illness is a disease, they start to recognize symptoms and warning signs and hopefully know that there are people out there who care and that help is available. It is critical that we all know we are not alone. Our hopes are that the community will continue to support and add to the resources that help those who are experiencing mental illness and/or suicidal thoughts,” said Becky Richeson, executive director of CALC

“CALC’s Connect and ARTiculate programs seek to provide socially engaged tools for teens to express themselves. It is important for teen voices to be heard in the community as this age group is often ignored,” said Carrie Breschi, coordinator of CALC’s art installation.

Centric Bank, Lisa Dorrill and David Bateman, Color Carlisle and the Arts for All Partnership: A Collaboration of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities and Cultural Enrichment Fund and Partnership for Better Health supported the project.

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Email Tammie at tgitt@cumberlink.com. Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.

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Carlisle Reporter

Carlisle Reporter for The Sentinel.