Peninsula Fine Arts Center: Healing Arts Program for Veterans

Healing Arts program at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center enables active-duty soldiers, veterans, and their families to address the emotional and psychological effects of combat experience with art therapy services provided via a curriculum developed in partnership with EVMS. It is so important because 30% of all Veterans now struggle to cope with life after war. Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder, suicide, and other mental-health issues in returning troops and veterans have gained media attention, which reports that an average of 18 veterans commit suicide every day.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans and military service members has increased in the United States, particularly among those returning from recent conflicts. The VA estimates that 48% of the veterans under their care are diagnosed with a mental health issue. PFAC started the Healing Arts program to address these concerns and to support and promote healing and wellness through the arts with service members and veterans.Healing Arts

Using a curriculum developed in partnership with Eastern Virginia Medical School, Healing Arts’ goal is to help veterans regain a sense of direction, find purpose in life, and increase self-esteem, personal strength, and identity. The program helps veterans and active duty military reintegrate into their civilian community through group sessions that provide creative expression and an opportunity to share their personal stories with the public through exhibits. Art therapy also provides a non-threatening outlet for participant to learn about themselves, explore their experiences, and gain insight as to what their art represents.

For more information on this program and other resources for veterans go to pfac-va.org.