Art Therapy and the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic: Public Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being

Introduction: Hilton published a manuscript [2020] titled; Do researchers have their heads in the clouds, bogged down with scientific medical detail? [Art therapy maybe a simpler alternative]. It discusses how a diagnostic pathway maybe crucial to eliminate sinister reasons for stress [example insomnia possibly caused by sleep apnoea where breathing stops during sleep]. In many cases of stress, depression, and/or anxiety-job, work, family, financial stress or reasons such as COVID-19 maybe causal. Art therapy maybe an alternative option and Hilton’s manuscript lists seven publications [review, meta-analysis, clinical trial or case study] providing evidence.

Methods: The Australian yellow pages online directory was searched-search terms [art therapist/s and/or art therapy]. 107 hits were retrieved, 21 were art therapists with email whom were emailed details of the manuscript, in addition to being asked ‘Are you currently doing any art therapy work with clients related to the COVID-19 pandemic?’.

Results: In reply to the question above, 7 people replied stating ‘yes’ while 3 replied stating ‘no’. 6 did not reply. The results suggest some art therapists are consulting with clients with COVID-19 related stress, anxiety or depression. Art therapy works created maybe displayed at exhibitions such as the black dog art exhibition that focuses on depression and anxiety. Either this year or next year Hilton is entering an art creation as a tribute to Dr. Li Wenliang an ophthalmologist whom passed away of coronavirus.

Conclusion: World Mental Health and RUOK days should incorporate messages about art therapy effectiveness.

Author(s): Deborah Hilton

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