By Annabel Williams, Teen Ambassador, Co Lab Arts Hub

Schoolwork, politics, COVID-19, social stuff, and so much more—the world is a stressful place right now, especially for teens. Personally, since distance learning started, I have had trouble managing my own stress, staying motivated, and prioritizing my mental health more than usual. As an artist myself, I found solace and peace in this crazy, stressful moment by falling back to my pens, paints, and sketchbook.

Art, among other creative forms, can be a useful tool to help one grapple with their emotions, relax, and bring positivity and improve self-esteem. Art therapy is said to help people explore perceptual, sensory, kinesthetic, and symbolic opportunities while expressing their emotions in a visual, understandable way. In a 2018 study, researchers found that art therapy can lead to significant improvements in overall mental health.

Art therapy is a popular and easy way to bring the plentiful benefits of art into the lives of people of all ages and skill levels, especially those not already engaging in frequent art or creative activities. Anyone can practice art therapy! 

Teen Dream’s Mental Health Hub and Arts Hub have collaborated to create an Art-Therapy session which was held on November 21st, 2020! We selected a few of the numerous art therapy activities/techniques to engage teens in a 1-hour zoom session. We had a wonderful trained art therapist, Cecilia Eirin, join us to speak more about the benefits of art therapy before having Hub-members lead the teens through the art activities. 

Our hope is to get as many teens as possible to watch our recording of that event so they can do art therapy at their leisure and be able to take away some of the activities we teach to utilize whenever they are feeling anxious and overwhelmed.  Tell your friends about it too!