Art Helps Mental Health

Barrier Breakers, a mental health emergency agency, held an art showcase over the weekend in which featured works by the agency’s powerful art therapy program for viewers dealing with many different mental health issues.

In 2016 Barrier Breakers obtained a grant from Keith Chenhall that enabled the bureau to present some pieces of artwork in the Cunningham Dax set in Traralgon. Starting with the screen, and with additional funding and assistance in the Latrobe Valley trust, Barrier Breakers managed to start its own art therapy program for many individuals in the area, to assist both individuals experiencing with mental health issues and carers from within the mental health industry.

Whist the Barrier Breakers art program was expected to run for one school term, the program was incredibly successful and gained enough funding, letting the program continue for another three school terms to continue assisting with students who needed the program most. The art program reached out to many regional artists, providing an invaluable way of support and treatment for many in the area.

The Barrier Breakers art expedition showcased the awesome results of this successful program, while both exhibiting the brilliant work of local artists within custom showcases, whilst continually increasing awareness of mental health problems faced by our younger students, neighborhood community, and overall society.

Barrier Breakers intends to keep the art program to promote emotional health and ease the talents of local artists, not only benefiting the students but also the local community who need it most.

A recent study of over 10,000 students discovered that only a one-hour visit to any art museum changed the way they felt and thought, which in result triggered many empathetic emotions amongst the students. Pupils who visited a museum not only revealed increased critical thinking skills, they also exhibited greater compassion towards how people lived before and expressed greater tolerance towards people different than themselves.

Millions of individuals deal with chronic health conditions and the stress, anxiety, and depression that accompanies individuals on a daily basis.

In The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature, researchers examined and reported on the findings of over 100 studies done on the effects of art on physical and psychological health. They discovered that no only art exhibitions triggered positive feelings. It was also reported that music and visual arts influenced individuals in these positive ways:

– Art let patients forget about their illness or mental health issues for some time, permitting them to concentrate on positive life experiences and reflect positively on what is in front of them.

– Creating art allowed them to keep the identity of whom they were before they got ill.

– Creative pursuits gave them a feeling of achievement.

– Art helped them express their feelings.

– Art reduced stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

– By viewing professional art work at any exhibition gave the students a sense of creativity and a sense of foundation, allowing them to think about the positive effects art has on the mind, feelings, and memory.

Professor Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist at the University College London, found that only the act of viewing art gives mental pleasure and ease, similar to falling in love. Brain scans revealed that studying works of art activate a surge of dopamine in exactly the exact same part of the brain that registers intimate love.

It is hoped that with additional support from the neighborhood, Barrier Breakers can continue to foster the art program to help achieve the lives of a lot more people experiencing mental health difficulties as well as the carers of the business.