YHOA has joined forces with Alleviant Health Center of Brentwood,TN to offer free healing art workshops to the community at large. YHOA does the workshops and Allevaint supplies the facility and the marketing of the workshops. We were honored to be asked to share our unique approach in using healing arts. The idea was all theirs. “Alleviant Health Center is a full-service mental health clinic helping people heal depression and chronic pain with a combination of traditional therapies and innovative, holistic modalities. Our unique therapy approach rapidly alleviates depression, relieves pain, erases suicidal thoughts, and provides an opportunity for full emotional healing. We believe in integrated holistic psychiatry and use treatment techniques for healing the whole person. Utilizing the newest groundbreaking healing modalities, we help you reduce medication use, take control of your life, and employ holistic treatment options.” The workshops are offered for Free. Call Allevaint 615-846-4558 #2 and find out what day and time the workshops are held and how you can join a workshop. Workshops are limited to 6 people and are on a first come first serve basis.
Participants in the JFS Helping Hands through Art program had their artwork proudly on display during the month of October 2018 at the Gordon Jewish Community Center .
Helping Hands through Art is a partnership with JFS of Nashville and OMA ( Opening Minds Through Art) run by YHOA. OMA is an award-winning inter-generational art making program for people neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
During the opening night reception of the show, several artists attended along with their family members and discussed the artwork with community members who also attended the show.
JFS’s Anna Sir, who manages the program, remarked that ” the art show felt like an important culmination of the first 2 years of this new program, as well as honoring each of Eileen’s visits with our clients, who were incredibly proud to share their work.” JFS began the art program in 2016 with a New Initiative Grant enabling JFS to continue their tradition of providing one on one services and activities for the community’s seniors.
Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art-making program for people with dementia. Developed in 2007 at Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center in Oxford, Ohio, the program is grounded in person-centered care principles.
The OMA art-making process involves carefully structured steps aimed at maximizing the possibility of creative expression. Participants are provided with manageable choices and failure-free activities that allow them to become active agents in their own creative process.The one-to-one ratio during art-making sessions builds the confidence and promotes the growth of close relationships between people with dementia and their partner.
The research shows that OMA helps to change how others view, interact with, and care for people with dementia.
We strive to:
1 – Promote the social engagement, autonomy, and dignity of people with dementia by providing creative self-expression opportunities;
2 – Provide opportunities to build close relationships with people with dementia;
3 – Show the public the creative self-expression capacities of people with dementia through exhibitions of their artwork.
Visits are one on one and can be made at a home or assisted living facility. They are 1 hour in duration and can be scheduled for every two weeks or once a month and it is a requirement that a caregiver or family member be present during the workshop.
Please call 615-456-3777 or email us at [email protected] to discuss in more detail the process to schedule a visit(s).
It’s about the journey of self-discovery, not artistic techniques.
It’s also about painting to awaken our authentic selves, to get in touch with our true desires, to fully understand and accept ourselves. Every workshop participant is a “beginner” whether or not they’ve painted before.
When distressed, we find ourselves limited to words that don’t come easily or keep unpleasant feelings to ourselves. Using words to convey our feelings is one way, but talk therapy, or just talking about it, isn’t for everybody.
Expressing ourselves with art is an alternative way to communicate what we can’t say. Painting uninhibitedly, intuitively clears out the heavy emotions weighing us down.
The Your Heart on Art vision is to foster community healing by heightening understanding of how the arts can improve outcomes, and by providing compassionate, accommodating environments.
We’re building community online so join and follow with Facebook and Twitter. We always welcome suggestions about more ways to build community.
Your Heart on Art views fostering and expanding strategic, supplemental partnerships as a critical means to advancing its vision. Outreach programs that integrate arts and healing into the fabric of the Nashville community are also integral to that end. No matter our life experiences, we can improve both individually and as a community from self-exploration and creative expression.
Working as partners with community organizations, hospitals and schools, certified facilitators lead mobile workshops for children, teens, adults and families tailored specifically to their needs. You don’t even have to be in crisis to reap rewards from workshops. Your Heart on Art develops and conducts on-site group courses and workshops for local businesses. These custom-designed workshops are especially beneficial for staff team-building and stress reduction. Licensed mental health counselors from partner agencies will be also present at on-site workshops and respond to any psycho-social issues if necessary.
Healthcare experts continue to acknowledge the impact and success that art has had in the emotional recovery of not only adults, but also children.
Youngsters usually aren’t as capable or comfortable expressing themselves through words, and painting is less threatening.
Your Heart on Art offers workshops specially aimed at children, inspiring them to communicate creatively in a safe, welcoming space.
• Art has been reported to noticeably reduce anxiety and decrease pain perception in children.
• Children can’t always find adequate words to explain themselves and become frustrated when they’re not understood. It’s easier for them to discuss a painting that reflects their fear or anger about a cancer diagnosis, for example, or other traumatizing event.
• Research confirms that the arts are crucial to the healing of abused children, helping them deal with painful memories and thoughts.
• Art allows children to build trust with adults.
• Artistic expression helps children resolve inner-conflicts, manage behavior and handle life’s curve balls more positively.
Visual expression has been used for healing throughout history and embraced in many cultures.
• Neurophysiologists recognize that art, healing and prayer all have similar brainwave patterns. • Freud explored various ways to tap into the subconscious hoping to uncover what’s at the root of repressed feelings. Freud’s findings? The insights obtained from art were equal to and sometimes better than results gathered from scientific approaches. • Freud believed that creative expression could identify underlying emotional pain almost immediately, whereas a psychoanalytic method could take hours.
Expressive art is now considered by both medical and psychoanalytic communities to be one of the most significant, cost effective, self-healing tools available.
Scientific studies prove that art, like music, instantly affects every cell in the body, initiating changes in the autonomic nervous system, perception, attitude, hormonal balance, brain transmitters and pain perception. Painting, for instance, can shift a body’s physiology from stressed to serene. In fact, research confirms that the act of creating art is similar to being in a meditative-like state. This relaxed mood makes mind and body more receptive to healing.
Decide to feel better and experience the joy and healing potential of art.
Art is the technique, but Your Heart on Art is about the transformation.
Communicating with colors is like using a new language, and the blank canvas is another outlet for emotions. When we paint, we’re able to “see” the negative thoughts preventing us from feeling well and happy.
We’re all familiar with the toll that stress can take on both physical and emotional health. But, did you know we can paint stress right out of the picture? Painting prompts reflection, which inspires relaxation and anxiety reduction. A sense of calm helps us gain clarity and opens our hearts and minds to healing. The comfortable, tranquil environment of our studio invites freedom of expression and exploration without judgment. Imagination, often stifled as we get older, is freed when we make art, so playing with color and paint is highly recommended in all Your Heart on Art workshop.
Producing art brings immediate results. Being creative calms us, clarifies attitudes and beliefs, and makes us feel better both mentally and physically, while our paintings often mirror what we keep hidden inside. Well-trained, supportive staff maintain an optimal environment and secure, nurturing atmosphere, while leading participants through art exercises designed to elicit self-awareness.
Our guided technique has a 25-year track record of helping people deal with crisis, trauma and the daily grind. The format and structure is different than that of traditional art therapy, which is a legally separate institution. Certified leaders are facilitators of the creative process, not therapists, and don’t interpret artwork; participants are in charge of their own exploration.
Three long, narrow sheets of canvas hung on a black frame at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital Wednesday, with the sheets tied up with rope and displaying a rainbow of colors and patterns.
The artwork, inscribed with words like “Why?” and “Suicide,” was designed at the hands of more than 30 suicide survivors and attempters, said Erin Hornsby, whose cousin — Mica Breeden Martin — committed suicide in 2011. Eileen Wallach, founder of Your Heart on Art, helped oversee the art project to provide a therapeutic experience for those overcoming traumatic events.
Displayed during the hospital’s kick-off for September’s Suicide Prevention Month, the mural — titled “In the Raw” — was designed to raise awareness for suicide prevention in Tennessee, said Hornsby, who has since developed the Team Mica Fund for suicide awareness in Madison, Hardeman, Gibson and Chester counties.
“The suicide rate is 12 percent higher in (rural) areas,” said Hornsby, noting that a lack of social integration and reduced availability to mental health facilities and counseling contributes to the high suicide rates. “Our goal is to create awareness of suicide and release the stigma that is tied to it.”
More than 900 Tennesseans committed suicide in 2013 alone, said Melissa Sparks, director of crisis services and suicide prevention for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Due to the high number of suicides, Tennessee is joining the national Zero Suicides movement to help reduce the number of suicides.
Sparks said the movement includes health agencies closing the gaps found in patient care. Agencies will be encouraged to not leave patients “out there on their own,” she said. The risk of suicide is highest within 30 days after a person has a primary care visit, has a emergency department visit or has been discharged from an inpatient psychiatric facility, she added.
“It sounds very ambitious, but we should always be working toward the goal of zero suicides,” Sparks said. “We may never totally accomplish that, but with that goal in mind, it will make us work harder to try to accomplish it.”
Sparks encouraged people to also carefully monitor their family and friends for signs of suicidal thoughts. Checking on people or asking if someone is feeling suicidal can reveal important hints that a person is feeling hopeless or overcome with negative emotions.
“We need to be really diligent in reaching out to each other and embracing each other, supporting each other,” Sparks said. “We’ve got to do a better job of that and not just sit back and wait for someone to come out and say ‘I’m suicidal.'”
Reach Beth Knoll at (731) 425-9641. Follow her on Twitter @merribethknoll.