A recent survey in Hong Kong interviewed 10,140 Form One to Form Six pupils in 22 schools through questionnaires between October 2014 and April 2015. It showed a total of 51% of pupils with inclinations of depression at different levels. In 2013-14, the number of patients who received treatment at The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service in Hong Kong was 26,765, an increase of nearly 30% compared to 20,897 in 2011-12.
Art to Heart’s Expressive Art Therapy Program endeavors to change the lives of disadvantaged youths who are vulnerable to psychological problems. Using different forms of art and proper guidance from therapists, participants are encouraged to imagine or create ways to express themselves. Through the process, , they can experiment with ways to interpret their feelings, discover and experience beliefs and feelings rooted in their perception, leading to change, self-discovery, and inner- growth.
The objectives of Art to Heart Expressive Art Therapy are manifold:
- Enhance self-awareness
- Resolve inner conflict
- Help them to express feelings in a safe environment
- Generate peer support
With $200,000 raised from the New Life Art Exhibition as seed money, we plan to reach 180 secondary S1-S6 students from 15 schools across the city in 2016. 124 underprivileged children with psychological problems will also benefit from in-house services at the CYLF Center in Shamshuipo. As one of the founders of this meaningful program, Natalya attends expressive art therapy workshops every week.