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For Good

Michael Coppage is using art to start discussions about mental health

Left: Michael Coppage receiving his award; right above: His art; right below: His mural in OTR


For one local Talbert House employee, thinking about the population served within the workplace extends well beyond the hours of a normal workday.

As a Housing Supervisor, Michael Coppage works with individuals facing mental health issues on a daily basis, and as an artist, he has the ability to shed light on some of those issues in a creative way. He aims to prompt discussion and promote inquiry through his art.

“The need to fit in and ‘be normal’ is often the biggest barrier to medication adherence and routine mental health treatment for the young African-American male population diagnosed with mental illness,” Coppage says. “We need all the help and support we can get.”

Coppage was recently honored with the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation’s Enlightenment Award for his artwork, which has enabled him to explain different topics, such as mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it, to adults and children alike.

Currently, his mural is on display in Over-the-Rhine, courtesy of ArtWorks, at Goetz Alley at 13th Street. His previous work has been displayed in Columbus at the FRESH A.I.R. Gallery on a multitude of occasions.

“Thanks to Michael’s efforts and passion for our clients’ wellbeing, our community is better educated on this important topic,” says Talbert House’s president and CEO Neil Tilow. “And our clients are more likely to be welcomed by a community that sees them for more than their mental illness.”

DO GOOD:

- Work to encourage your family and friends to both acknowledge and address issues of mental health.

- Support the Talbert House by donating.

- Connect with the Talbert House on Facebook.
 

Read more articles by Brittany York.

Brittany York is a professor of English composition at both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. She serves as project manager for Charitable Words and edits the For Good section of Soapbox Media. 
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