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Mental Health at McMaster

McMaster Okanagan Office of Health & Well-being

Art and Mental Health

Art can be tremendously beneficial to your health and contribute to overall happiness and mental well-being. Art has been linked to improved memory, reasoning, and resilience.

The health benefits of art include relieving stress for adults and kids alike. Art takes your mind off of your everyday life and provides a relaxing distraction. Your brain gets into a mental flow when creating art; worries are set aside as you focus on the details of the art you are creating. The benefits of this mental relief are one reason why creating art is used as a therapy for PTSD. Adult colouring books are a popular escape for people of all ages!

How does art contribute to our mental health?

We might be facing increased isolation through a loss of social connections, such as friends, family and workplaces. Art and art programming is a great way to bring people together and build social connection, even virtually!

Art encourages us to forget about the stresses in our lives and focus on the work we are creating. Therefore, art can minimize our stress levels and bring a sense of calmness instead.

Art encourages creative thinking and imagination in kids and adults. It also enhances problem-solving skills. Since there is no wrong answer in art, people are encouraged to imagine their own solution, and are more daring with new ways of thinking.

Creating art boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment in adults and children. It produces dopamine, which makes people feel good, increases drive, and improves concentration.

Art can enhance cognitive abilities and memory for people with serious brain disorders, such as dementia and alzheimer’s disease. Creating visual art helps improve the quality of life for patients with these conditions by giving them a source of pleasure, increasing connectivity and promoting cell growth in the brain.

Art can be an effective way to help those who suffer from chronic conditions by distracting patients from their condition while focusing on a positive experience, giving them a sense of achievement, helping them express their feelings, and strengthening their identity.

Use Art for Your Mental Health

Virtual Art Therapy for Ontarians Learn More

At Studio Therapy, your online art therapy sessions will include a combined Art Therapy & CBT-driven approach. Studio Therapy practices art therapy from a creative and expressive arts lens. The creative process is so often inspired by true events or based on some aspect of our experiences, memories, or identities, and as such, you may find that the creative outlet can be a natural pairing with the pursuit of emotional well-being.

Art Appreciation

Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) Learn More

The AGH is renowned for presenting outstanding exhibitions and complementary programming for visitors of all ages. There is so much to see and experience. In addition to AGH Tours and AGH Talks, the Gallery offers studios for adults and kids, family activities, school programs, festival programming, performances, and more.


McMaster Museum of Art Learn More

The McMaster Museum of Art is a meeting space for both the campus and the community situated within the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations. The Museum engages, educates and inspires through: growing an awareness of the interconnectivity of the past, present and future; advancing de-colonization; engaging in innovative and imaginative research; dismantling institutional and ideological boundaries; partnering and collaborating with intentionality; diversifying the collection; and building capacity.

School of the Arts Learn More

The School of the Arts (SOTA) offers intensive programs in iArts (Integrated Arts), Studio Art, Art History, Music & Music Cognition, and Theatre & Film Studies.