Children’s Mental Health Awareness Celebration Program

April to May 2016

“Gannett Wisconsin Media is hosting some eye-opening, multi-month long coverage on the topic of children’s mental health. This coverage is intended to raise awareness of this important issue, and will culminate in an event in Madison just before the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Coalition event, on May 5, 2016.”

My Feelings Matter Poster Contest

I created this piece using soft pastels and used a 3D pen for the writing. Mama outlined, “My Feelings Matter” with red puffy paint. My hand was not steady enough to do this tedious task.

I entered a piece called, “My Feelings Matter” and won 3rd Place for the 6th to 8th Grade category on May 5th, 2016. This is another self portrait of myself. When I was creating this piece I was so surprised that there are so many words used to describe emotions. It’s no wonder why I have such a hard time explaining to others how I am feeling. While writing down all of these words about emotions it really got me to start thinking about what emotions are and what they mean. I am still very confused at times but I have a chart available to look at if I need help identifying how I am currently feeling. When I am angry, sometimes I have to stop and think, am I really angry or just frustrated. Happy is a really easy feeling, you are happy, its that simple. What does being anxious really mean and do I really feel anxious or is it something else? Sometimes Mama will say, “Wow Braxton you are really frustrated right now!.” Then I’ll say, “I am not frustrated! I am upset.” Mama is really good at helping me use the correct words with the current emotion that I am feeling. After a few years, I am at a point that I can identify the correct emotion to exactly how I am feeling most of the time. When Mama notices, she always acknowledges how proud she is that I was able to identify correctly how I was feeling at that moment in time. This was no easy task to get me to this point. At times, I have lost all words to communicate or I don’t really know what I am feeling, so I will just scream, yell, swear and slam things around. This usually gets Mama’s attention and she will come running. She really helps me at these times to calm down and will tell me the words I am trying to express through my screams. It doesn’t always work but Mama never gives up because she knows identify emotions is a very tricky task.