Transforming Lives, Cultivating Success
TLCS has transformed and empowered the lives of people with mental illness in Sacramento since 1981. For 35 years supporting independence and preventing homelessness has been our number one priority. This year TLCS is excited to participate in WOW916 with Michael McDaniel, a TLCS Personal Services Coordinator and Northern California artist.
Michael McDaniel has overcome significant challenges to reach a point in his life where he can use his art to manage his mental health symptoms as well as assist others to do the same. Michael‘s bio shows tremendous resilience along with great talent.
Northern California artist Michael McDaniel says that “My mother confirmed early on that I had an ‘overactive imagination’ because I attempted to have her confirm certain experiences that were unique only to me. My issues of mental health started before kindergarten as I was hearing and seeing things that my brothers, parents and peers didn’t see nor hear. And this continued through elementary, junior high, high school, and into college, though as I got older, I stopped inquiring if my friends were able to hear and see what I’m experiencing.”.
He started to pull away from everyone through high school and by his own admission was on a death mission by 18, abusing a new drug called crank (meth), and LSD whenever possible. “I had no clue how bizarre and crazy my life was going to become with vicious periods of psychosis.” The hospitalizations that followed with each manic episode in 3 successive years while attending Delta College in Stockton were devastating. His mom encouraged him to use the time while in psychiatric hospitals to paint and encouraged him to take art classes in community college and find himself in his own art. He has been painting and selling his art for the last 20 years.
Through art and his faith in God he has found a way to cope with his own mental health and in so doing he has learned to share that skill with others. Michael paints abstracts with lots of color and texture. His landscape art allows him to find a peaceful place in nature and recreate it. In 1995 he began to work as a Homeless outreach worker. He found that he could relate to people experiencing many of the struggles that he had experienced. He has been working as a case manager since 2005 serving people with serious mental illness, most of whom are homeless. Art is often a common language they share.
In his work at TLCS he has facilitated an art group for several years. He has worked with over 80 clients who struggle every day with psychotic symptoms and he finds that art is a great source of comfort and expression for many of the people he works with.
“I am proud to represent TLCS and my own art in Wide Open Walls. I am excited by the prospect of creating something that expresses my own path and struggle as well as representing the recovery journey of the people I support every day.