After observgin student struggles with mental health,Teachers at Lewis Clark Middle School in Billings, Montana are facilitating students in exploring their mental health through art! " The benefits of art in a child’s education are widespread. Art can help kids express themselves and understand the world around them. Art is usually a hands-on experience and fun. For low-income students, studies have found that kids who have more arts education in school see long-term benefits by both academic and social standards. "
Teacher Tori Wardrip stated, " "Students can be closed off, especially if they feel like outcasts, I wanted to create a 'safe' space where they could express what they're going through." So she began having students create mood mandalas, comfort boxes, and place books --which "conveyed their inner worlds". These highly personal and creative projects allowed students to open up about a widespread and dangerously stigmatized epidemic.
Ms. Wardrip knows the struggles of mental health as she has too experienced debilitating mental health issues. She leaned on art to cope with her struggles and to give her a safe voice of expression. "To help create a safe space, Wardrip begins each meeting with a wellness check-in, followed by a guided meditation and an art-related activity. Her group combines creative process with psychological theory. "