Focus on fostering good mental health in 2023 with UAB Arts in Medicine

The Virtual Mental Health Monday series includes sessions on dance, healing rituals, forest bathing, supporting LGBTQ+ youth, suicide prevention, caregivers and reducing homelessness. 

Virtual Mental Health Monday RFP 550x413The Virtual Mental Health Monday series includes sessions on dance, healing rituals, forest bathing, supporting LGBTQ+ youth, suicide prevention, caregivers and reducing homelessness.Explore ways to support mental health at home and in the community with a monthly one-hour series presented by Arts in Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The UAB Arts in Medicine Virtual Mental Health Monday series features discussions and Q-and-A for guests with experts in their fields. The 2023 sessions range from dancing for health, healing rituals and practices, and forest bathing and ecotherapy to supporting LGBTQ+ youth, preventing suicide, caring for caregivers and helping homelessness locally.

Email Lauren Edwards at with questions. See the series and register for the webinars at UAB Arts in Medicine is a partnership with UAB Medicine that underscores UAB’s commitment to patient-centered care.  

Art Therapy for Healing,” 6-7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5

Christianne Strang, Ph.D., a research instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology, and Patricia D. Isis, Ph.D., board-certified art therapist, will discuss the role of clinical art therapy for healing. They will show how anyone can engage in artmaking to enhance wellness when life gets challenging.

Dance for Health: The Impact on Whole-Person Wellness,” noon-1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

Every week, Melissa Turnage, UAB artist-in-residence, teaches dance to people from ages 5-95 receiving inpatient treatment for psychiatric disorders. Turnage and others will discuss the health benefits of dance not only physically, but for the mind and spirit.

Ritual and Community Healing,” noon-1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 

Guests will discuss the history of healing rituals and community healing practices with roots dating back to human’s Paleolithic ancestors and explore some of these practices, such as music, drumming, dance and other arts elements.

Exploring Forest Bathing and Ecotherapy,” noon-1 p.m. Monday, March 20, 2023 

Spending time in nature can have positive benefits for our health. Learn about practices that include forest bathing, horticultural therapy and other nature-based therapeutic activities.

Supporting Our LGBTQ+ Youth,” noon-1 p.m. Monday, April 17, 2023

More than half of LGBTQ+ youth in the United States report experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and 45 percent have seriously considered suicide, according to the Trevor Project. For this AIM Mental Health Monday session, experts will discuss the challenges facing LGBTQ+ youth today, and ways to support young people at home or in the community.

Suicide Prevalence and Prevention,” noon-1 p.m. Monday, May 15, 2023  

In the United States, suicide is among the top 10 leading causes of death for people ages 10-64, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While many factors may lead someone to consider suicide, it can be prevented. In this webinar during Mental Health Awareness Month, learn how everyone can be part of the solution.  

Caring for the Family Caregiver,” noon-1 p.m. Monday, June 19, 2023

As of 2020, almost one in five people in the United States were providing unpaid care to an adult with functional needs, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. Caregiving can have positive benefits for caregivers, but it may also negatively impact their own physical and mental health. What resources exist to support unpaid caregivers, and what is the future of caregiving?

Homelessness in Birmingham,” noon-1 p.m. Monday, July 17, 2023

Homelessness continues to be a problem nationally and locally. In July, guests will discuss the current state of homelessness in Birmingham, local efforts to reduce the rate of people living without shelter and organizations offering ongoing support in real time.

Started in 2013, the UAB Arts in Medicine program provides services on a rotating schedule to a growing number of UAB Medicine units. AIM strives to transform the care environment and enhance well-being and healing through creative arts experiences for patients, families and staff. Integrating the arts into the health care environment has been shown to benefit patients and caregivers by reduced stress levels, reduction in perceived pain, improved mood, distraction from medical problems, and increased self-expression and self-confidence. 

UAB Arts in Medicine’s Virtual Mental Health Monday series is made possible by Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation, Miriam Kirklin Reed and Susan Mott Webb Charitable Trust.