You are listening to Radio Totally Normal Toronto on CJRU 1280 AM and cjru.ca in Toronto. Radio Totally Normal Toronto, or RTNT for short, is a voice for community mental health; produced by the members and staff of Progress Place, a mental wellness clubhouse in downtown Toronto.
We are now on episode 22! This month we’re focusing on mental health and the arts. As information and awareness spreads we are seeing an increasingly holistic approach to mental health; that is looking at physical, mental, emotional and social factors as important parts of someone’s overall health. This episode we spoke with Kelly Straughan from Workman Arts about their work and evolution of the workspace. As we will see in this episode, the arts can play an important role in overall mental wellness, providing not only an important outlet for expression but a chance to develop skills and confidence as well.
Some facts about Mental Health and the arts are:
Drawing, painting, or molding objects from clay has been shown to help people deal with different kinds of trauma. In The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health, Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel say that "art helps people express experiences that are too difficult to put into words, such as a diagnosis of cancer."
"Artistic self-expression," they continue, "might contribute to maintenance or reconstruction of a positive identity."
Additionally, a review published in 2014 suggests that individuals with musical training — such as those who learned how to play an instrument — have improved connectivity between the two hemispheres of their brains.
Thank you to all the members and staff of Progress Place who work hard each month to create a recurring episode of Radio Totally Normal Toronto. Special thank you to Kelly Straughan of Workman Arts for coming down to Progress Place to record the interview.
Thank you to our listeners, and please share this episode with your friends and family. Together we can transition from mental health stigmas to a continued focus on mental health and wellness.
To learn more about RTNT or listen to previous episodes please check out radiototallynormaltoronto.org. We are pleased to announce that the show is now streaming on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and Google Podcast if you search up Radio Totally Normal Toronto.