Transcript: Helping Texas youth access mental health resources through education and creativity

Upbeat music plays as the view pushes in on a painting of the sun reflecting off waves. A teenage artist holds a painting of hands holding plant-life.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Daniela Marino

                                          Artist

DANIELA: Art is usually seen as an outlet for many others, including myself. It’s really nice to use it and lean on it when you’re having a bad day.

Dr. Jamie Freeny interviews in her office. Works of art appear.

ON SCREEN TEXT:          Dr. Jamie Freeny

                                          Mental Health America of Greater Houston

DR. FREENY: When we talk about mental illness with children and encourage them to share their thoughts and their voice through art, we are helping to create a safer environment, helping to encourage people to reach out when they are in need. Mental Health America of Greater Houston received $190,000 from UnitedHealthcare, and we are so appreciative because this helps to continue to promote awareness, increase education and conversation about mental health in the community, provide professional development to school districts, as well as to host an annual art showcase that promotes the reduction of stigma around mental health, and promotes art as a positive coping skill. Art is something that is taught in schools and we work with school districts to change the culture around mental health. It just made sense to engage students directly in the conversation by inviting them to create art pieces that relate to their vision and their feelings about mental health.

DANIELA: It’s really easy to grab almost any type of material and show exactly how it is that you’re feeling.

DR. FREENY: Every year we have more and more students that participate, and more parents and teachers that are engaged and that are encouraging their students to submit art. Art is a universal language and has the ability to connect with students of all ages.

Works of art slide onscreen, and the UnitedHealthcare logo appears over a white background.