Throw a Beat Into our Community: Tackling Stress in Middle School

Middle School art class.

Middle School art class.

Sydney Douglas, Junior Editor

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Did you know that, “About 20% of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood” and, “Only 30% of depressed teens are being treated for it” (I Need a LightHouse)? That’s less than half!  Having an art therapy after school program would reduce stress and depression, problems that are caused by stress and depression, and it’s a different way for students to express themselves.  

Not only do teenagers suffer from depression, but add stress, anger, anxiety, bullying, and much more to some of their plates.  Whether your problems happen at school or at your house, art therapy is said to reduce most all of those problems, excluding bullying.  A reason why art can help with stress is, “Drawing and art can take your mind off of what’s stressing you, at least for a few minutes and when you’re finished being engrossed in your sketches, you should have a clearer head with which to tackle your problems again” states Verywell Mind.  Group art therapy sessions tend to promote positive connections with other people, something which plays a key role in overcoming depression (The Ranch).  These are the main aspects in how art therapy helps people with their stress and depression.  In my opinion, bullying can lead to stress and depression and stress can cause anxiety, so art therapy would be really useful in a middle school setting.              

There are a lot of fights, and hurtful things said in middle school.  When you’re stressed out, every little problem can lower your tolerance level until you can’t hold it anymore, and start arguing and yelling.  Depression can cause you to be happy and overjoyed one minute, then enraged the next. Also being stressed can cause you to not think correctly, so you may say or do something that you might regret in the future.  Like I said before, doing art therapy reduces stress and depression, which causes a lot of students to fight or get in an argument with other students.

Sometimes people are taught to hide your emotions and put on a blank face, and to not show your emotions.  That is not good for teenagers or anybody, because it will just make you feel worse. With art therapy, it’s a different way to express yourself other than talking, your showing it  through a painting or drawing, etc. According to, “In art therapy, words are not always necessary.  A mere lump of clay or a blank canvas can be far less threatening than giving voice to painful feelings, words, or images.” I think the class would be once a week on a Thursday throughout the school year so if you do sports you have a chance to take the class.         

I think that this school would benefit a lot from having an art therapy after school program.  The hard part would be finding a teacher to teach and getting the class setup. For better understanding check out my news story Art Therapy to learn what art therapy is in general.