mental health cartoonist for psych-central: chato b stewart Mental Health HumorI can’t believe it! I’ve been doing the annual Mental Health Awareness Month Cartoon-A-Thon for 3 years.   You ask… What’s a Cartoon-A-Thon? It is the biggest thing in the world!!!  Well, maybe just in my world.  I volunteer my time and effort to draw 31 cartoons for each day of the month in May (Mental Health Awareness Month).  It began in 2008 on another blog network which will remain nameless, since I’m here at Psych Central.  Here (PsychCentral) is where the Cartoon-A-Thon should have always been… among friends and peers.  Here is a link to Mental Health Humor‘s 2009 Cartoon-A-Thon.

This year, I am drawing caricatures of 31 Mental Health Heroes.  Each day, I will attempt to draw them and post them on the website:

I started out with my personal hero… ME!  When I look back just 3 years ago, I was lost; had no hope and in the hospital from a suicide attempt.  It was my last call for help. O.K., maybe I called a few other times in the past… As my Med manager says, it was “multiple attempts.”  This time my cries for help were heard by a piece of paper and a dull pencil in the hospital…  The Psych Ward doesn’t let us have sharp pencils.  I guess, they fear, we might poke an eye out or something.  It was there, it all started.  Instead of writing a journal,  I drew cartoons of my mental vacation.  I found focus and balance drawing. Yes, it was art therapy with cartoons!

After my hospital “club MED” vacation, some friends encouraged me to keep drawing.  Soon after, I was hired to blog about Mental Health Humor.  It should be noted, I never considered myself a cartoonist or artist! I just express and appreciate the power of humor as a positive coping tool.  I’ve drawn over 250 cartoons about living with mental illness.  Last year, I taught myself how to draw caricatures so this year I could try to draw 31 Mental Health Heroes for the Cartoon-A-Thon.  Who is my first Mental Health Hero Caricature?  Me…

Mental Health Hero Chato B Stewart  Caricature for psych-central Mental Health Humor

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