Defining the goals…

OK. So, after I began to think out-loud in response to a comment on a previous post, where @Celestiteblue did point out a need for a clearer picture, so to speak, of what exactly Sketch4Health is about, I have decided to pose 1 question per blog post.

So each post will have one and only one question. I will put my thoughts out there, but I am hoping for some serious brainstorming too!

The Question of the Day: Who is the “target audience?” (i.e. who should receive help accessing a convenient creative outlet first)

Initially I was thinking primarily in-patients and those needing daily hospital treatments for any chronic/severe health conditions. It did occur to me, however, that many hospitals already have some sort of art-therapy like resources available, especially in psychiatric wings and in large teaching hospitals. This is NOT to say that in-patients should be ignored, but I think many people with chronic health problems may be flying under the radar simply because they are doing a bit better.

This leads me to a tentative initial scope of recipients: hospital patients with limited to no access to artistic outlets, community healthcare centers that see a large number of low-income patients and/or medicaid patients, and residents of LTC facilities (Long Term Care facilities) that do not already incorporate art-therapy (or something similar) into a holistic treatment plan.

Once we can define a starting “target group,” we can begin to look at what steps need to be taken in order to actually reach patients/residents and what type of fundraising (not necessarily just monetary donations) is needed/how much…

Ok. YOUR turn! Hopefully one step closer to my goal of being able to define the mission of Sketch 4 Health in one sentence. 

Supporting Research?

It has come to my attention that, though I have an intuitive sense of the importance of art in the healing process, maybe some more solid research would flesh out my ideas a bit.

So here’s my findings from today (I will keep posting as often as I find good sources and I have the time)

(Click on the title to see the original source)

From: The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature

-“Engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease.”

This comes from a brief paragraph that points out that two of the leading chronic conditions in the US, heart disease and diabetes, are associated with “psychosocial stress.” This is kind of key- I think that many of us, myself included, tend to think only of the direct psychological benefits of creativity, not of the indirect physical benefits that are probably greater than we have yet discovered. A person with diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), but not with any obvious psychological disorders, would still benefit greatly from a reduction in stress. I began thinking about the demographic of people for Sketch4Health in a more limited sense- those with conditions that created great stress, rather than those with conditions worsened or partially caused by stress.

I will be honest: this article examines a few different types of arts used for theraputic purposes, but I mainly focused on the “Visual Arts” section- since that is what I am trying to help with.

“Art helps people express experiences that
are too difficult to put into words, such as
a diagnosis of cancer”

Under the visual arts heading is a chart summarizing the findings of several studies on the effects of creating art. ALL of the studies found positive results. Benefits included distraction, increased positive emotions and reduced depression, and increased focus on self-worth and social identity.

Also:

If you haven’t already, check out the video I came across the other day, it is very inspiring! Comment below!!! And follow the board on Pinterest if you want to help gather visual ideas!