THE mother of a man who suffers with bipolar disorder is to hold an art exhibition to raise awareness about mental health problems.
Janneke Evans, who lives in Alrewas, will be joined by her brother Tim Bos to host the exhibition, which will also try to raise money for the Mind charity in Burton, so it can hold anxiety and anger management courses.
She said she wanted to host the exhibition to try to get people talking about mental health, following her own experiences with her son Kim.
Mrs Evans told the Mail: “I want to raise awareness about bipolar and mental health. There is still a lot of stigma attached to it and this is a way of trying to normalise it.”
Mr Evans was at university in Edinburgh when he was diagnosed with mental health problems. Following a number of episodes, he slowly began to improve.
He now lives in Nottingham with his wife and children. His condition is under control, though it will never completely disappear.
Mr Evans has written a book about his experiences, called Memories of Mania.
In it, Mrs Evans says she was surprised by the lack of openness which surrounded mental health, and how unwilling people seemed to be to speak about problems in their own families.
“I think it’s so important to be willing to be open about having a problem in the family. People need to be aware that it’s normal to have somebody in the family who has a mental health problem,” she said.
“Ours is quite a feel-good story really.”
Mrs Evans has become further aware of the need for mental health provision as a result of the family’s experiences, and said she wanted to help Burton Mind face the cuts it has faced, if she could. Some money from the sale of each original painting will go to the charity.
The exhibition will run from Tuesday, March 25, until Monday, April 7.