Cresson, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College students and faculty will be presenting at National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Blair County’s annual conference on April 21. Professor of fine art Dr. Don Talbot teaches art as a therapeutic tool, and he and his students will demonstrate some of these tools to the community at the conference.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a national mental health advocacy organization that dedicates itself to educating individuals about mental health and enhancing the lives of those affected by mental illness.

Students from Dr. Talbot’s Expressive Arts classes will join him in “Mapping a Vision.” The workshop will teach attendees how to use life mapping techniques to examine their past, present, and imagined future using imagery, words, and basic expressive arts activities. The workshop will last approximately 40 minutes, and participants will receive an art kit of their own to use at home.

Dr. Talbot has been on the board of directors for NAMI Blair County for three years. He is passionate about helping individuals use art to heal their mind and explore themselves.

“Many of us go through life without taking time to consider how our past shaped our present, or how our past and present will determine our future,” said Talbot. “ A life map is an activity that allows us the opportunity to reflect upon and adjust our life trajectory.”

In addition to the life mapping workshop, Dr. Talbot will also showcase artwork created by visitors to the HOPE Drop-In Center in Altoona. Dr. Talbot has been working with the center for nearly five years, and runs the in-house art center on Thursdays.

Dr. Emily Lasinky, who currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Mount’s psychology department, will be giving the conference’s keynote address. To register and learn more about the NAMI Blair County Annual Conference, visit namiblaircountypa.org.