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Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Art with Heart exist?
According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, exceptionally stressful experiences early in life can have long-term consequences for a child’s learning and behavior, as well as physical and mental health.
If left untreated, these adverse experiences early in life can alter – in a lasting way – a child’s developing brain and their capacity to learn and adapt to stressful situations, leading to long-term behavioral or relationship problems. This is of national significance because studies already show that at least one in five children and adolescents suffer from a mental health disorder. Of this number, only 20% receive the mental health services they need…80% are left behind.
If mental health issues go undetected and untreated, these disorders can lead to a life of school failure, family conflicts, substance abuse, violence or suicide.
Reducing anxiety, coping with overwhelming feelings and strengthening emotional development are critical steps to trauma recovery. Studies also show that creative expression can help stall or reverse the damaging effects of trauma, hardship and crisis, by helping them explore, articulate, and express repressed feelings.
How does art help?
Creativity is ideal for drawing out youth who have difficulty articulating feelings. Creative expression gives kids a way to voice their pain, anxiety and fear in an age-appropriate and non-threatening way. It helps them sort out confusing emotions and circumstances, communicate their needs, and heal from emotional wounds.
Many feelings, thoughts, and views can present themselves in just one picture, which in normal talk therapy, might have taken months to surface. They can draw when they can’t find the words, and write when they don’t have the confidence to speak.
The benefits aren’t limited to healthy communication. It also supports Social & Emotional Learning –increasing self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making – all very important skills for success in adulthood.
How does Art with Heart help?
Our work supports schools, hospitals and other nonprofit organizations that are dealing with fragile populations of kids at times of extreme crisis, such as after a diagnosis of cancer, a natural disaster, or the tragedy of a school shooting.
We collaborate with mental health experts and award-winning illustrators to create engaging tools that promote self-exploration and self-discovery. We encourage professionals to add creative expression to their toolbox and provide the needed tools and trainings to do that. Our methods are effective because they are research based and age-appropriate. We help bridge the gap between the number of children who suffer from emotional hardship and those that receive care.
We reach kids at critical moments, helping prevent the negative, long-term effects of stress and equip them with skills that support positive coping skills, opening the door to a lifetime of confidence and courage.