Behind Art for Mental Wellness
Blending art, museums, decorative arts, and psychotherapy
Meet Susan Ward, MA, MS, LCMHC
Blending art and mental wellness
Susan has a unique background in museums and mental health. Her MA is in Museum Studies/Decorative Arts and her MS is in Mental Health Counseling.
In her first career, she was curator of Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, then founded Heritage Communications, a museum consulting business emphasizing the visitor experience. Later, she became an LCMHC (Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor) working with individuals and families facing challenges due to grief, difficult life transitions, or early childhood trauma that results in anxiety, depression, low self esteem, anger, and difficulties connecting with others.
As a mental wellness advocate, Susan says, "We've all become overly focused on what's wrong with someone's mental health. We need to shift and focus on teaching ways to build the positive aspects of mental wellness and emotional resilience. Art in all forms is an ideal vehicle for doing that!"
Susan also consults with small and mid-size museums and cultural organizations to help them integrate mental wellness strategies into their visitor experience. When working with cultural organizations, she guides them to build opportunities for visitors to feel connected, inspired, and resilient, all critical to individual and community mental wellness.
In Susan's wandering years, she was...
-A ski bum in Colorado
-A nanny in London
-Housekeeper to a priest in Sydney, Australia