At a Sept. 7 City Council meeting, the city of Sugar Land presented six unique wooden information boxes containing information on free mental health resources that will be placed throughout the city on Sept. 10.
“This project came about in response to two community needs,” said Suzanne Gray, the city’s cultural arts manager, at a June meeting discussing the call for artists for the program. “COVID[-19] not only affected businesses’ bottom lines, but many people’s mental health. Nationally, suicide completion rates have surged to a 30-year high. Grant funding from Fort Bend County became available, and the city saw an opportunity to pair support for our businesses, the creative sector and mental health through this project.”
The project was executed through a partnership with To Write Love on Her Arms—a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicidal thoughts.
“What's amazing about this is that we're able to start a conversation about mental health and also provide resources to those that need it most,” said Star Gilani, Sugar Land’s economic development liaison, at the presentation of the boxes in September.
The boxes, which feature uplifting designs such as flowers and frogs, will be placed throughout the city, located next to positive messages embellishing the sidewalks. They were each designed and created by local artists.
“It’s a unique approach, but one that fits in with Sugar Land residents’ expressed interest in public art to beautify the city,” Gray said in June. “This project enables us to provide that while also making mental health materials readily available to everyone.”