Mental Health: Perspectives on Care, Support & Recovery [online panel discussion]
Tue, Nov 09, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In conjunction with the exhibition “Jessica Farrell: The Wilderness Diary,” Bushel is pleased to host Mental Health: Perspectives on Care, Support & Recovery, an online panel discussion to be held on Tuesday, November 9, 7–8 pm.

Sidney Center, NY artist Jessica Farrell will be joined by three of her portrait subjects: Arianna Ilowit (peer specialist in training at Oneonta Rehabilitative Support Services), Jason Paden (Schoharie County Peer Engagement Specialist for Rehabilitative Support Services), and Garrett Smith (statewide organizer for Center for Community Alternatives). They will each share their personal stories and discuss the mental health crisis in our region.

Delaware County has one of the highest suicide rates in the state and nearly 80% of those incarcerated in our jail suffers some form of mental illness. What are the challenges and barriers faced by those in recovery? We will hear how organizations like NAMI and FORDO are helping to support and advocate for those in our rural community suffering from mental illness.

For mental health resources in our region, please check out this list of organizations.

Video of this event is available on Bushel’s youtube channel here.

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Jessica Farrell is a painter who grew up in southern Indiana, studied at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and currently resides in Delaware County, NY. Her paintings explore the vast landscape, verdant forests, abundant wildlife, and the people who live in her community. As a mental health advocate, Farrell is interested in themes that speak to the power and fragility of the human condition and provoke public discourse. (

Garrett Smith is an advocate currently working as a Statewide Organizer for the Center for Community Alternatives, seeking to dismantle oppressive systems of mass incarceration and institutionalization in New York State through legislative advocacy. He is currently part of the Clean Slate NY Coalition, campaigning for the passage of a bill that will directly impact over two million New Yorkers. His passion for creating an environment built on the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusivity are at the forefront of everything he does. (;;; Twitter | Instagram | Facebook)

Jason Paden works as a Schoharie County Peer Engagement Specialist for Rehabilitative Support Services, sharing his lived experience dealing with a mental health diagnosis directly with individuals. He is also a multifaceted artist, animator, and inventor who has developed the patent-pending OopsLoop, a unique smartphone accessory, as well as a new bio presentation format called “Jase and his Quirkz” with his animated Mental Health characters he created and performs the voices for. Paden hopes success from his inventions will fund new peer programming concepts, along with an innovative mental health recovery training program with his Quirkz.

Arianna Ilowit lives in Otsego County and works at Rehabilitative Support Services in Oneonta while in training to become a peer specialist. Living with the intention of bringing kindness and love to every interaction, Her educational goal is to complete her degree at SUNY Oneonta and work with survivors of domestic violence and trauma, using her own life experience with mental illness and trauma as an inspiration for growth, wisdom, and healing. Ilowit is also an artist who explores all forms of creativity, from painting and illustration, to jewelry crafting and card making, with her biggest passion being painting, where she channels her pain into artwork with the hope of uplifting others and herself.


Image: Jessica Farrell, paintings from The Wilderness Diary project, left to right: Arianna & Kestrel (2020), Jason & White Rabbit (2020), Garrett & Luna Moth (2019); 24 x 18 inches, acrylic on wood.


Bookings are closed for this event.