BCAT and Horizon Health Services Announce Public Art Initiative to Coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month


BUFFALO, APRIL 26, 2021 — Buffalo Center for Arts & Technology (BCAT) and Horizon Health Services (Horizon), announce a unique partnership to bring a youth-designed and installed public art mural to the Bailey-Kensington neighborhood.

The mural, which will be located at 3020 Bailey Avenue, one of Horizon’s mental health and substance use centers, will be designed and installed by six youth artists enrolled at BCAT.  The youth, who will spend approximately 30 hours concepting, designing, and finalizing the mural will be mentored by notable Buffalo muralist, Tyshaun Tyson, and will also have the benefit of college and career counseling services provided by BCAT.

“We are so fortunate to partner with Horizon Health Services on this major outdoor public art initiative,” said Gina Burkhardt, President & CEO, BCAT.  “Our youth are skilled artists who deeply understand the benefits of artistic expression and the experience a mural can bring to a community.  The youth will create a unique visual depiction that tells a story of hope to anyone working through mental health challenges.”

Horizon Health Services, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that provides hope and healing for individuals and their families dealing with substance use and/or mental health disorders, approached BCAT in the summer of 2020 following a significant rise in pandemic-related mental health issues.  In an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health — especially among today’s youth — the mural will bring positivity, brightness, and a message of hope to the Bailey-Kensington neighborhood.

“We are grateful to collaborate with BCAT on the Mural of Hope at our Bailey Kensington Recovery Center,” said Anne Constantino, President and CEO of Horizon. “The dedication, thoughtfulness and passion that went in to the design and execution with their youth encompass our shared mission and commitment to quality care and life changing services for the community we serve.  We are confident that this message will impact not only our current patients and family members but provide continued awareness and hope for our community members each and every day.”

The physical installation of the mural has begun with an unveiling target date of May 21. This date celebrates the importance of mental health awareness month.  Mental health disorders are common in the United States among teens and young adults. 50% of all lifetime mental illnesses develop by age 14.  BCAT and Horizon hope that through this collaboration they build community awareness and offer access to treatment to those who are affected.

To view progress of the mural, please follow along on BCAT’s Instagram page @bufcat716 and Horizon’s Facebook page @Horizon Health Services.

About Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology

Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) has served Buffalo since 2013 with tuition-free, healthcare-focused workforce development programs for adults leading to new career skills, jobs and economic independence; as well as a year-round afterschool arts and technology program for high school youth in Buffalo that harnesses creativity, talent, and skills and leads to youth graduating with postsecondary plans. BCAT’s adult workforce graduates have an 80% rate of employment and 100% of BCAT seniors graduate from high school.

BCAT offers opportunities and resources for a diverse population, supporting youth and adults in an equity-focused learning environment. We value and respect the authenticity of all of our participants and prepare them for living healthy, creative, inspired, and productive lives in our community. Additional information about BCAT can be found at buffaloartstechcenter.org.

About Horizon Health Services

Horizon Health Services provides hope and healing for individuals and their families dealing with substance use and/or mental health disorders. We offer person-centered care to help individuals and their families achieve improved health – including outpatient counseling, detox and stabilization, inpatient and residential services, medical, psychiatric, counseling and support services. In addition, Horizon offers teleservices for mental health and substance use counseling for individuals, groups and family members.  Horizon continues to grow and improve both our services and organizational capabilities. In doing so, we benefited from our organization’s mission-directed maturity, and our history of striving for excellence for more than 45 years.  We know that effective treatment makes recovery from behavioral health disorders possible. Most importantly, we provide hope.

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