The Wrangler

How Art Helps Mental Health

Creative arts have a widely underestimated power in the help of mental health therapy and reducing stress.

Art can express what others can't say.

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Art can express what others can't say.

By Jaclyn Rodriguez, Staff Writer

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Whether it be music, painting, writing, or any other creative outlet, art has always been a sort of escape from stress or personal issues, it gives people a way to show their inner thoughts and feelings, which they find hard to express in words or any other way. Although underestimated, artistic outlets have the power to connect with people lost in mental illnesses. 

“The arts enable us to imagine the unimaginable, and to connect us to the past, the present, and the future, sometimes simultaneously,” says Dr. Mitchell B. Reiss, President of Washington College. This is extremely important for people with mental illnesses, who find it hard to connect to the world in other ways, people like Jennifer Marshall.

Jennifer Marshall was a wife and mother of two when she was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder. Six years later, she started her own blog and used writing as an outlet to share her experience. Even though this may seem inconsequential to some, it helped Marshall heal and control her illness. This then inspired her, along with her co-founder, Anne Marie Ames, to start a theater production company to give others the opportunities to share their experiences through  This Is My Brave Kickstarter.

any sort of creative outlet can be helpful in maintaining a calm and stress-free lifestyle”

— Jaclyn Rodriguez

Marshall used writing as a way to connect with the world and helped others like her find a way to express themselves, but there are many other ways it can be done. Creating art and putting an unspoken meaning behind a piece of work can be just as therapeutic and helpful for people struggling with the stress of everyday life.

“Art allows me to express myself and allows my imagination to run wild. I love to get lost creating art because it allows me to forget my problems and puts me in a happy place,” says Melissa Ortega, member of the George Ranch Art Club. 

As Psychiatrist Dr. Pat Bracken puts it, “The creative arts can promote positive change on a number of levels.” Art is a very broad area, but each form is unique and meaningful to each individual, whether you suffer from a mental illness or not, any sort of creative outlet can be helpful in maintaining a calm and stress-free lifestyle.

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How Art Helps Mental Health