Pillowcases Tell Stories Of Mental Illness

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FULTON - Art in any form is an expression, and expression on any canvas can be revealing.

In this case, the canvas is a pillowcase.

Through a program at the Fulton State Hospital, individuals dealing with mental illness use their pillowcases to express struggles that swirl in their minds.

In the program, called "Pillows of Unrest," coordinators give patients a white pillowcase and sharpies and ask the patients to depict their struggle and recovery.

"If their pillows could talk, they would talk and they would tell their story of trouble," says Peggy Reed-Lohmeyer, Assistant Director of Social Services at the hospital. "One that begins within but is often fed by an environment that lacks understanding."

Reed-Lohmeyer says the program allows patients and the hospital to raise awareness in the community about mental illness.

"Pillows of Unrest is about educating the community; educating those folks so there is less stigma about mental illness," Reed-Lohmeyer says.

The Pillows of Unrest display travels to different businesses around the area, in hopes of making the hospital's clients "real to people who can't meet our clients," Reed-Lohmeyer adds.