Humans are wired to connect, and this connection affects our health. From psychological theories to recent research, there is significant evidence that social support and feeling connected can help people have lower levels of anxiety and depression, and improve overall mental health. Research unfortunately shows that loneliness is on the rise, even before the pandemic started. In light of the social isolation that many of us have experienced this past year due to COVID-19, our theme this year is the Art of Connection. Being part of a supportive community, and providing opportunities for connections, is what CHARG is all about! This is a free virtual event, all community members are invited to attend on Thursday, April 29. The COVID-19 pandemic has transitioned our art show event to an online gathering but that means anyone can join us from the comfort of their homes. We will host a virtual art exhibition during the month of April where people can bid online for the artwork. At the end of the month, the bidding will close while we host a virtual program, which will include: An overview and update of CHARG community from Todd Helvig, PhD, Executive Director Impact stories or quotes from individuals managing chronic mental illness, talking about the transformational nature of connection, support, empowerment, recreational/creative activities within a group, and employment Displays of artwork, and artists sharing how the creative process can increase mental wellness and/or how it is impacted their own overall health and well-being And more!