Midstate teenagers are helping heal other teens through the power of art. The Pennsylvania Psychiatric Hospital is depending on some students at Lower Dauphin High School to help their patients through Art Therapy.
“Oh my gosh, I love [working on this project]”, exclaimed one of the art students as she cut and clipped art supplies. Over the last semester dozens of students have spent countless hours on the project.
“When we focus on our young people who are unwell, some are sad, just seeing photos, pictures, artwork. It changes the mindset”, said PA Psychiatric Institute Director of Business, Ruth Moore.
Moore said about 100 teenagers with mental disabilities go through the psychiatric center each year, The patients are about the same age as the artists working to make the murals.
“I love that working on this has made me feel like I’m making an impact on some of these kids in the adolescent wing” said Lower Dauphin High School student Olivia. “The world is more beautiful with more art in it” said her peer, Jacob. He continued :”For some people can be therapeutic so just contributing that to the world and helping to heal people is amazing.”
With tears in her eyes the Lower Dauphin Art teacher said “They’re not just rotten teenagers. They’re really sweet kids.” They’re working to turn a sterile environment into something serene. The art teacher says they’re crafting because they care about others. “The fact that they have considered other people beyond themselves…that’s a trait you can’t teach”
The school called in a professional local artist, Linda Billet, to help teach students how to make the mural.The pieces recently went up in the hospital. Watch until the end of the above video to see the final product.