The New Day Campaign is a Baltimore arts-based campaign to challenge stigma associated with behavioral health conditions, making the world a more healing place. Public programming takes place the last quarter of 2015 (October 1-December 31) with 13 art exhibitions, multiple public programs, and outreach efforts sharing art and stories that humanize, build compassion, and generate understanding.
Information and FAQ about the New Day Campaign:
What Is “Behavioral Health”?
Behavioral health, according to Lexicon for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration, a publication of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is defined as: “an umbrella term any behavioral problems bearing on health, including mental health and substance abuse conditions.” We embrace this full spectrum understanding of the phrase. However, as the same publication further points out, “the field of behavioral health integration is only beginning to develop a standardized vocabulary.” Therefore, the phrase “behavioral health” is necessarily an imperfect one. A more informal or layperson way of understanding how the Campaign understands behavioral health is as: behaviors that look like choices, and as such tend to be judged pejoratively (i.e. stigmatized), when actually choice has very little to do with it.
Uncomfortable, controversial, or painful topics are hard to rally people’s interests in: art brings people in as little else can—and once in, people can learn about the issues, and tap within empathetic attitudes toward those who suffer.
The Limits of The Campaign
The New Day Campaign has one explicit purpose: to challenge stigma associated with behavioral health conditions, making the world a more healing place—we do not seek to be a primary resource or build a comprehensive resource directory; we do not have specific public policy or legislative goals; we do not see ourselves as the effort seeking change; we are not looking for impact beyond the Baltimore area. The Campaign is but one of many good things happening, with our focus a time-limited, arts-based initiative to open hearts, change thinking and conversation, and offer pathways to action.
Who Is in Charge?
Peter Bruun, a longtime artist, curator, and organizer, created and leads the Campaign as a passion project born of tragedy: the passing of his daughter Elisif Janis Bruun from a heroin overdose on February 11, 2014. Peter’s organizational approach is collective and collaborative, working toward mutually desirable goals with dozens of individuals, agencies, and organizations that share the vision of the Campaign.
How Can I Learn More or Get Involved?
The Campaign’s website (www.newdaycampaign.org) is constantly being upgraded and updated. From there, you may also sign up for our mailing list, or contact Peter Bruun.