Mount Horeb students paint community mural to raise mental health awareness

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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MOUNT HOREB, Wis. (WMTV) - High school students are rolling up sleeves and picking up paintbrushes in hopes of raising their community’s awareness for mental health.

The multi-panel mural, worked on by students at Mount Horeb High School, is set to be installed downtown on the wall of the Sunn Cafe. According to art teacher Anna King, students brainstormed ideas for the mural in the spring and are aiming to complete the project by the end of the month.

“I’m hoping that it’ll bring a light to the community in a way that when people walk by it, they just, they see happiness,” sophomore Violet Statz said.

The school partnered with nonprofit Dane Arts Mural Arts, which according to a lead artist, earned a grant to partially cover the roughly six thousand dollar project.

With elements of the mural including a person holding a heart, Addie Dobereiner, junior, said self-love is a big theme. “There’s a lot of self-hatred that goes on, I think, among my peers and among myself, as well. I think it’s important to keep reminding people that you’re important and that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others.”

Some students are practicing self-care from the comfort of the art studio.

“For me when I get really overwhelmed or have a lot of feelings, I just paint and it makes me feel a lot better,” Statz said.

In 2018, the school collaborated on another mural to address what she called a “mental health crisis.” Still today, King said students don’t shy from the topic.

“I overheard a really sweet conversation when two kids were painting in my room, and they said, ‘I really think you should give therapy another try,’” she said. “That’s the kind of discussions that we’re hoping are normalized.”

King said other community partners include Sign Art Studio, which will help with the installation of the mural.

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