The HeART of Community is a programme developed in partnership between Quest Art School + Gallery and Community Living Huronia (CLH). It provides opportunities for CLH’s clients and other members of the community to participate in facilitated art workshops.
“More common than diabetes, cancer, or heart disease, mental illnesses fills 21% of all hospital beds at any given time” (Malchiodi, 2002, p. 268). Medical advances have brought treatment and care a long way for the developmentally challenged. Along with pharmaceutical treatment, many other treatments have been explored over the past 50 years. One of these treatments includes the expressive pathway of art therapy. Art therapy has greatly impacted the mental health community and only has room to grow. Art therapy provides an outlet that traditional therapies lack, especially for individuals who have developmental disabilities.
Developmentally challenged individuals often face challenges which include physical health issues, social isolation, and challenging life transitions. Fortunately, research shows that arts-related interventions can help (in some cases, more so than traditional Western medicine). In particular, there is substantial causal evidence that participatory arts activities help to maintain the health and quality of life of developmentally challenged individuals and that visual arts practice generates an increase in social engagement, psychological health and self-esteem in participants in these programmes.