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Amsterdam, NH, 1013 AS

+31 (0)20 2629913

Beautiful Distress was founded on the concept that there is a great deal of mental suffering, that not enough people are aware of this and that not enough is done to stop it.

The Foundation uses art in an attempt to open up the world of psychiatry and battle the stigma attached to it.

Why art? Beautiful Distress believes that art is pre-eminently capable of articulating and depicting the human condition




22 november - Studium Generale: Beauty in Distress - Breaking Down Stigmas Around Mental Health

Stichting Beautiful Distress

Lecture by Mirthe Berentsen

do 22 november 2018 16:00 - 17:30
Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten - Den Haag


Mirthe Berentsen will talk about her residency at the mental health department of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York via the Dutch organization Beautiful Distress and the novel she is working on, about language, privacy and psychiatry.

In March 2018 Berentsen wrote an op-ed in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant that can be read as a plea to stop casually labeling people, as it leads to further stigmatisation of people that are actually suffering from their heads. In this article she points out the strength and danger of words and the context they are used in, as it’s easy to put a label on someone who loves to clean his house, or who is uncomfortable during social interactions. But this tendency, to analyse and stigmatise someones behaviour, causes persistent noise in both the political and personal conversation. If you disagree with someone’s views and you ridicule them by calling them crazy or untrustworthy you can avoid any debate and confrontation.