National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week: Creativity can help children with mental illness

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week: Creativity can help children with mental illness

Childhood is one of the most vulnerable phases of one’s life. It is that stage of life during which a person develops most of his/her positive as well as negative traits. But recently, a spur in mental illnesses in children are bothering the families, parents, as well as the loved ones of children.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 13 percent children in the age group of 8 and 15 years have a lifetime prevalence of developing a mental health disorder.

Mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are conditions that affect the way a child thinks, feels and behaves at school, social places, with friends and at other social settings. Therefore, to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and how positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is observing the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (NCMHAW) from May 07 to May 13 this year.

The week coincides with the National Mental Health Awareness Month which is observed in May every year. The theme for this event, Partnering for Help and Hope, aims to focus on the importance of combining behavioral health and primary care for children, youth and young adults affected by mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders (SUD).

Creativity can help curb mental disorders in children

A number of studies done in the past have proven that creativity can be really helpful in treating some forms of mental illnesses, though the link has not been conclusively established as yet.

Engaging a child who has been diagnosed with a mental illness in some or the other form of creative activity, such as drawing, painting, music, etc., can be helpful in curbing the symptoms of the condition. This will not only help the brain to function properly but also assist in processing the child’s grief and/or loss, help him/her communicate about his/her loneliness, emotional problems and cognitive issues. Along with these, it can also aid a child in achieving better self-awareness and relief from stress or anxiety, learning disorders, and symptoms of autism and other traumatic experiences.

Webcomic artist draws to help kids with mental illness

Chuckdrawsthings, a British webcomic artist, suffering from depression and anxiety, uses her creativity to make pigeon caricatures to help kids with mental illness. The simple layouts and thought-provoking messages of her drawings establish a connection between like-minded individuals while offering them a sense of not being alone.

Using a hard brush pen for lines, markers for coloring and a watercolor texture to give the caricature a mix of traditional and digital feel Chuckdrawsthings tries to find a balance between being relevant and providing positivity through her drawings. She also throws some light on different aspects of mental illness such as low energy, experiencing horrible thoughts and debilitating loneliness.

Making sure that every piece of art has a message to convey, she tries to entail the feelings of uselessness that one experiences while living with mental illness. With an aim to break the stigmas associated with mental illnesses, she puts across the message that there’s nothing wrong in talking about and seeking help for mental health conditions.

Road to recovery

Undoubtedly, the traditional methods to treat any mental disorder, such as medications and therapies, are effective. But, opting for some unconventional methods can also prove mental health treatment to be successful.

If you or someone you know is looking for professional help for mental health treatment you can contact Sovereign Health. You can call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 to know more about the best mental health facilities in California. You can even chat online with our experts who can assist you to connect with state-of-the-art mental health rehabilitation centers in California or any other part of the United States.

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