by Paige Bourquin
Mental health is something the world is taking seriously right now. With the rise in mental health cases all around, approximately 280 million people in the world have depression, with an estimated 3.8% affected by general depression, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years (WHO.Int). Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in the US, with approximately 40 million adults diagnosed. However, only 36.9% of cases are treated which is why people turn to arts and music for comfort.
Bellbrook students talked about how music was a way to relax when stressed out, and it changes their mood depending on what they’re listening to. One junior stated, “It helps me drown out the rest of the world.” JROTC instructor Colonel Gangware stated that, “When I play music for fitness, people are more energized.” Music has many health benefits, such as lifting moods, but it also helps alleviate pain and brings back memories when listening to nostalgic songs.
An article on Harvard Health Publishing said, “[People] expressing themselves through art can help people with depression, anxiety, or cancer, too.” Colors affect people in a psychological way, too. A warm tone can be happy and optimistic, while blue tones can create feelings of sadness, coldness, and fear.
Bellbrook students responses to art’s effects on their mental health are overwhelmingly positive. Sophomore Kameron Heft said, “Art is like sports, used as an outlet and used as a way to vent.” Out of the 15 students and 3 teachers, only one person said that art does not affect their mental health, but instead their creative outlet was music. Senior Dexter Disalvo stated, “The music I listen to changes the way I want to paint, the specific genres change the strokes I use, and other colors. Rap makes me use bright colors, and ’80s is mostly mute tones.” Many people talked about how they listen to music while they perform their craft, and can be used in many different ways to inspire people, such as one sophomore student telling me that calming music helped them focus.
Art is an important part of the Bellbrook school district. This Saturday, April 16 is the District Art Show which features the work of students and teachers. One of our guidance counselors Mr. Hartley stated, ”Oh yeah, art is naturally therapeutic. People can express themselves in ways words can’t.” Bellbrook is a place that springs art on its walls.