De Pere teen uses mural for mental health

16-year-old Eva Passel is helping an Allouez business be seen, but she wants people to see mental health isn’t an issue to shy away from
A 16-year-old from De Pere hopes her art shows people dealing with mental health issues they are not alone
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 6:48 AM CDT
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ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WBAY) - As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, we want to introduce you to a young De Pere artist who’s using her passion to reassure people that if they deal with mental health issues, they are not alone.

“Painting is super therapeutic for me, you know?” Eva Passel said.

This 16-year-old Notre Dame sophomore knows the mural she’s painting will help an Allouez business be seen.

But what she really wants people to see is that our mental health is something we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about.

“I have anxiety, so whether that be, you know, about a test or just overthinking in general. This year I’m in a lot of advanced classes, and I was in a lot of sports last year, and it can be really hard to juggle that stuff sometimes.”

Her mural of the Chakra symbols is in front of Bay Area Yoga and personal training center Stealth Fitness.

Bay Area Yoga owner Kat Kelly says it’s tough for people to find her business since it’s set back from Webster Avenue.

“Trying to get people to look down here and see where we are,” Kelly said. “I was like, a mural would be fabulous.”

Eva says when Kat asked her and her friend Charlotte to paint the mural, she jumped at the chance.

Research shows moving our bodies with things like yoga or strength training can improve mental health.

Eva says painting is what helps her relax.

“There’s different ways to cope with everything. Painting has always been my thing, or just art in general. My entire room is painted. So I could spend six hours painting something and not have any thoughts going on,” Eva told us.

She hopes the mural brings people down the hill and maybe towards a new activity that could change their lives.

“A couple people have already stopped by and they were just like, it’s so beautiful, like wow, that’s amazing. And I feel like it kind of sparks a happiness, like when you see a puppy and you’re like, wow, that’s so cute! It just kind of brightens your day.”