Meeting Maryland’s First Lady & Behavioral Health Stigmas

Just a few days ago I was blessed with an opportunity to visit Annapolis and meet the First Lady of Maryland, which is the Governor’s wife Yumi Hogan. This event, the Behavioral Health Awareness Art Show, was a gallery showing of different art with the theme of destigmatizing mental health and substance use disorder.

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I was apart of The Walking Gallery of Healthcare, which is a community of individuals in various fields of healthcare that wear paintings on the back of jackets that tell their health stories. My jacket had a man meditating with jagged, sharp lines on one side, that turn into gentle, curvy lines. It is representing that when one meditates, we are more relaxed and calm, which can play a big role in behavioral health.
the walking gallery of healthcare


I had never been to Annapolis before. I was looking forward to seeing Maryland’s capital for the first time. We spent most of our time in the House of Delegates, but I did get to see a small bit of the city, which was pretty cool looking! There was one building with a giant mural of a buddha head, as well as other murals on other buildings.



The House of Delegates building was pretty neat! Made up of lots of brick, it was a very victorian looking building. The inside was quite nice, as you would expect from a major government building. When we got to the Walking Gallery table, Shannon Shine and Regina Holliday set up some information so people could learn more about what The Walking Gallery is all about!


It wasn’t too long until the place began to fill up. The gallery was filled with some really amazing art. There were all different mediums, photography, acrylic, oil and mixed-media.

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After the gallery, everyone assembled into a large conference room where Yumi Hogan, First Lady of Maryland and wife of Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, gave a speech about behavioral health and being an artist.


Then she helped to present awards to the artists who were in the gallery. In between talking and handing out awards, there was a spoken word artist by the name of Kondwani Fidel who took the stage and shared some really powerful poetry. His first poem got a standing room ovation. You can check out the video by clicking HERE!

Kondwani Fidel at Behavioral Health Awareness Art Show

After it was all over, the First Lady hung around to take photos and speak with the attendees. I thought that was pretty cool of her. She could of ran out quickly, but she didn’t. She stayed back to make sure everyone who wanted to meet her, could. So Shannon Shine and I got our chance!


We also got some photos of The Walking Gallery with the First Lady!

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I also did a podcast on the subject of mental illness, which will be available soon! I will update it into this post as soon as it is ready!

UPDATE: You can listen in to the podcast at

Would love to hear from ya!

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