My biographical history is that of a child of a parent with untreated mental illness. My mother suffered with major depression, psychosis, anxiety disorder, and agoraphobic behavior – all of which worsened at an alarming rate as she aged.

As an artist I openly present my story for the benefit of others who have been affected by mental illness, and use my personal experience as a way of fostering conversation about social stigmas attached to mental illness. The stigma of being “mentally ill” suppressed my mother’s voice and disengaged her ability to act in defense against her illness. I feel that the time to tear down the walls around mental illness is long past due – its time to build bridges of understanding and compassion instead.

Rose Clancy is one of the exhibiting artists for Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art.