Creative Courage is an innovative project founded by art teacher, Tori Wardrip. The Lewis and Clarke Middle School, Montana educator had noticed that some of her students were showing signs of troubled mental health. Combining her knowledge in the arts and her care for the pupils she was employed to teach, Ms. Wardrip decided to begin with this fantastic outreach project.
Especially in low income communities, a solid arts education has been shown to improve the quality of life in several ways. The support group is intended to give students an artistic voice without the criticism they may receive in the classroom. Rather than teaching art from a top down perspective, the group encourages pupils to express their feelings in a safe and considerate environment.
Prompting students with interesting ideas and methods of expression is part of the process, like tapping on the eggshell and then seeing what flows out. Mental health is unique to the individual, and with the boundaryless realm of creative expression there can be a direct correlation between feelings and communication that words and talking therapies can't reach into. Combined with the talking, art is able to holistically address the deeper foundations to life's issues.
Many adolescents struggle with depression and anxiety. This often overlooked and brushed aside condition requires healing and therapy in order to be free from it. Nipping it in the bud at young ages while people are still of school age is ideal for preparing them for adult life. Rather than pretending it is not there, or expecting it to pass naturally, teenagers are finding exceptional benefits from working through it creatively instead.
Check out some of Tori Wardrip's great work here
Do you think that art therapy is something you can make use of, for yourself or your friends? There is a great course on Udemy, that I have taken myself, and I do highly recommend anyone to take it.