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Common Ground helps those in need



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April 03, 2013 - By Cathy Srock

Special to The Review

Art is not only something beautiful to look at – it can also be beautiful for the soul. At least that's the message Common Ground is hoping to convey with their Mandala Art Exhibit, on display at the Orion Township Public Library through April 10.

Mandala, Sanskrit for "circle," represents the individual that created it. Each one is unique to the creator.

"Each individual person created one that represents themselves," said Karen Knox, Director of the Orion Township Public Library. "It's neat to see all the different ones."

According to Knox, Common Ground approached the library to partner and host the exhibit as well as some programming, which will be held this Saturday.

""I am excited that the Library is partnering with Common Ground on this program," said Knox. "The mandala exhibit provides a glimpse of the power behind the art therapy. I am anxious to learn more about them on April 6."

The day will start with a "Crisis to Hope" presentation from 11 AM to noon. This presentation features a selection of inspirational stories from Common Ground's CEO, board members, staff and clients, as well as an explanation of the organization's mission and services.

"Sometimes people don't' know where to turn for help," said Tony Rothschild, Common Ground CEO. "We want the community to know Common Ground has programs and services especially designed for runaway and homeless youth, families in crisis, victims of crime, people with mental illness and others in critical situations."

Following the presentation, they will be hosting a mandala making workshop from 12:30 to 2:30 PM. Both activities are free and recommended for ages 10 and up. It is requested that individuals register by calling the library at (248) 693-3000 or online at www.orionlibrary.org.

Mandala making and other forms of therapeutic artistic expression are used in the Art Therapy program at Common Ground as it allows clients to express themselves on a deeper level and face items of difficulty.

"That's the beauty of art therapy," said Reggie Harrison, Developmental Specialist at Common Ground. "It allows you to express things that you may not be able to say."

Harrison said she is excited to be involved in bringing the power of art to the Orion community.

"As an Orion resident, it is exciting to bring this inspirational program to Orion to help spread awareness about the many wonderful programs that Common Ground offers."

"There is a lot of stigma attached to mental health, but it's okay and important to ask for help," she added. "The mandala making workshop that follows the presentation will give guests a chance to express themselves and learn about the power of art in healing."

Harrison recommends that participants bring mementos, ribbons and other items of importance to the mandala making workshop.

"That way they can make them more personable and meaningful to them," she added.

Common Ground's goal is to move individuals from crisis to hope. They provide services for all ages and for a variety of items, including programming for individuals and families dealing with crisis and mental illness, victims of crime, and runaway and homeless youths.

Individuals in need of assistance can contact Common Ground's 24-hour hotline at 1-800-231-1127. More information about Common Ground and all of their offerings can be found on their website, www.commongroundhelps.org.

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