Flora native Susan Ainlay Anand, a licensed art therapist, and treasurer of the Art Therapy Credentials Board, is leading a series of creative workshops in the Hederman Cancer Center at Baptist Health Systems (1225 N. State St., 601-948-6262) starting Monday, Jan. 9 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
The workshops are for anyone going through cancer treatment regardless of treatment location and for family members of patients. The workshops are primarily geared toward adult patients. Anand has provided workshops since 2002.
"In these workshops, we give people art materials as a way to reduce stress, help with pain management and express creativity," Anand said. "We like to expose the participants to all kinds of different materials and media. That includes drawing, painting, collage and sculpting."
Anand attended Goshen High School in Goshen, Indiana, and later received an undergrad degree in fine arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. She moved to Mississippi in 1982 and joined the ATCB faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1987 after graduating from New York University in 1986 with a master's degree in art therapy. She enjoys providing art therapy for medically ill and psychiatric patients, and she has published accounts of this work in the Art Therapy Journal as well as a chapter in the book "Medical Art Therapy with Adults."
Anand also provides art therapy services to Catholic Charities Inc. in addition to her work at HCC. Anand also serves as chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Mississippi Art Therapy Association as well as on its Program Committee, and is its founding president. She wrote and lobbied for legislation to license art therapy as a profession in Mississippi. Anand hosts workshops both locally and nationally and frequently travels to India to visit her husband Vinod's family. Anand and her husband have two daughters, Asha and Mina, both in college.
Anand's interest in serving on the board is tied to her first-hand experience of achieving licensure for art therapists in Mississippi. To be licensed, it is necessary to become registered and board-certified.
"Licensure provides benefits to consumers by insuring they are treated by professionals held to high ethical standards," Anand said.