History of The Cartoon-A-thon
Heroes Among Us
“Living in recovery, while maintaining balance for Bipolar Disorder, he used drawing cartoons as a coping skill. Drawing cartoons about Depression, Bipolar, and other mood disorders for what he calls “a consumers point of view.” Chato embraces prevention, resiliency, and recovery for children, adults, and families living with mental illnesses and their caregivers.
The Mental Health Humor cartoons have appeared on many websites and blogs. Many Mental Health Newsletters publish the cartoons. From Florida to California, up in Canada and all the way down under in Australia, the cartoons are giving giggles to peers far and wide.” – mentalhealthcartoons.com
A few months before the 2009 Cartoon-A-thon locally a big name craft store was having one night only class to teach “how to draw caricature“, the person teaching was Walt Disney caricature artists.
I had an Idea, what if, instead of drawing 31 cartoons, I make the Mental Health Month special and learn to draw caricatures. Then I could draw 31 mental health peers, “Heroes!”
Taking the 2-hour class and getting any book I could and watching Youtube videos, I practiced drawing Caricatures. To draw 31 peers, whenever I had free time all year I would draw or read to get ready for 2010.
In 2010, the Cartoon-A–thon officially became the Mental Health Heroes. When I started to draw my fellow peers, my kids also helped and drew their own version. It became a family event for a number of years. From 2010 to 2014 we drew well over 150 Mental Health Heroes. One Year our Family was at a three day DBSA Conference and my girls were drawing. It seemed like we were drawing non-stop. There were a LOT of smiles!
I wanted to give you the full backstory, as best as I could so you could understand this family grass-root project.
I know I’ve have not been able to do the Mental Health Hero project lately due to work restraints.
Now I would like to check in on a few of the Mental Health Heroes and see Where are they Now?