Art offers outlet to those with mental illness

Art offers outlet to those with mental illness

Student Writer Kacey Womack

Multiple versions of art are accredited to helping students with depression.

Bailey Neidert, junior, says that drawing and painting helps him express his feelings to other people better than words.

“Art gives my brain something else to focus on,” Neidert said.

Neidert is an art major who embraces art to help cope with mental illness.

Music is another art platform that helps those with mental illness.

“Struggling with mental illness is not an easy thing at all, but finding things to connect with helps in so many ways,” said junior Emily Fisher.

Fisher added for students to listen to their favorite music, connect with the lyrics and artists and find their path.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Carmen Burkhalter said there are numerous benefits to the arts.

“People can use art to express their emotions in ways that words do not work,” Burkhalter said. “I have seen this to be especially beneficial to children.”

A study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, (NAMI), at Chadron State College concluded that more than 25 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the last year.

This statistic does not include those who do not have access to resources due to health insurance. The study also shows that more than 40 percent of college students have frequently experienced stress in their daily lives in the last 12 months.

“The comfort that music gives me not just during the lows, but the highs too,” said junior Keela Davis. “I know when I fall, there will always be a song to catch me.”

Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Sara Lynn Baird said all forms of art can be an outlet for people to express themselves and experience emotion.

“This shows that college professors see the benefits in the arts when it comes to mental health,” Baird said.