With more than one in four adults in the United States living with mental health problems including depression and other issues resulting from drug addiction, treatment is a concern for many individuals. One method involves using arts and crafts as a tool for people to express themselves. Creative projects can be used to work through negative thoughts and emotions that may be difficult to express verbally by producing a physical depiction of thoughts, feelings and emotions through arts and crafts.
Utilizing Art in Therapy
Arts and crafts are an expressive outlet for many an may be useful without formalized therapy, making it accessible to a wider group of people. Being a method of relaxation, art isn't just an activity of creative expression. It can go much further by helping treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, arts and crafts can offer an opportunity for maintaining calm or working through emotions which may change a person's perspective as they work through their problems. It is especially appealing because it can be available to many people, even those who are not able to receive formal treatment.
Recovery Through Creativity
Emotional and mental improvements are only part of the benefits of art and crafts. For people recovering from addiction, managing stress and sleeplessness improves physical health. An overall focus on returning to good health is the goal. Drug abuse and addiction take a physical toll on individuals and is often visible on the skin in the form of dry, flaky or blotchy skin. Fortunately, as mental health improves, so does one’s physical health, including the skin as a reflection of improved health. Arts and crafts can provide a sense of relaxation and relief from stress and allow people in recovery to concentrate on healing their mind and body.
Arts and crafts offer control for the creator. Thus, people who are shy, suffer from social anxiety, or are ill, can benefit from art therapy as it can be a private and solitary activity. Art therapy can project emotions without having to speak to others, a personalized medium to express complex feelings where one can reflect and hopefully find relief. It can be a way to express feelings without having to meet with a therapist, which may be out of the financial reach of many suffering from mental health issues.
Art therapy can play an important role in the road to recovery and can be available to a wide range of individuals. There are many different creative outlets for people to pursue. Activities such as baking, painting, playing an instrument, sewing, knitting, photography offer people ways to crate while working through their issues in a positive way. With such a wide range of things to choose from, anyone can find a creative outlet. Through art therapy, people dealing with mental health issues can work towards a healthier way of life.
The arts benefiting our mental health is one of the many reasons why we are so thankful we have an Arts & Crafts Area at the Museum of Visual Materials Monday- Wednesday. Be creative and express yourself with our recyclable materials and art supplies. We love our members of the community to donate their left-over art project supplies, or unwanted miscellaneous items that we turn into found art masterpieces!