ubc.jpeg“’Efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus have resulted in extreme social exclusion for people in prison, which negatively and unfairly impacts the mental health and wellbeing for people inside,’ explains project co-lead Kelsey Timler, a PhD student in interdisciplinary studies at UBC. ‘Since mid-March, people in prison have not had access to in-person visits from friends, family and religious and spiritual leaders, and almost all programming has been cancelled. Time passes very slowly, which adds to the stress and anxiety of being incarcerated during a global pandemic. COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-existing inequities and finding ways to support community building and belonging is incredibly important right now.’

‘Work 2 Give gave us the idea of assembling art and reciprocity kits that people in prison can use to produce something personal and meaningful to them,’ said Helen Brown. ‘They can share the resulting art or writings with their family, or they can take part in a reciprocal sharing with the wider community. They can express themselves while still observing physical distancing, and art and writing shared between people in prison and people in the community can support social inclusion and a sense of belonging, of not being alone. In the future, we hope to expand this project to include a job creation program that provides dignified living wages for people leaving prison.’”

More here on UBC team launches art initiative to promote mental health of men in prison by Lou Corpuz-Bosshart.

#UBC #ArtInitiative #MentalHealth #SupportOurIncarceratedMen #COVID19

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