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Counseling and Disability Services gives students the opportunity to relax through art therapy

An illustration of cookies on a plate, a paper crane and six crayons.

Students gathered to de-stress from school on Feb. 27 through participation in art therapy. Counseling and Disability Services provided students with the opportunity to make crafts, such as origami, along with coloring sheets to relax from the stress of school, all while eating cookies.

Moia Clarke, an alumna from Washington, D.C., shared why the Counseling and Disability Services decided to put on the event. Before switching to psychology as her major, Clarke said she was originally an art major. She discussed how art therapy is underestimated today and how there are benefits to art therapy for mental health.

She added, “I know art can help with depression and anxiety, and it can calm [people] down. There is a sense of accomplishment people feel when they do things like this, and I wanted to bring this to the students.”

Cristina Martins, a senior from Laie majoring in psychology, shared why she personally enjoyed the event. Martins said, “These events are great because they take very little brain activity. I got to do something distracting with my hands, which was nice, and eat cookies, which saves me money.”

Derek Clarke, Moia Clarke’s husband and a sophomore from California majoring in biomedicine, reflected on his experience from attending the event. He said, “I think it was fun and relaxing, nothing high-stress, but just a peaceful thing to come and do.” He said he would recommend events like these to other students. “It is a safe space to go to. If you are stressed with classes or anything, this is the place to be.”

Martins said she believed students should come to these kinds of events in the future. She commented, “It is a good time waster and [helps] turn your brain off. I really like being able to turn my brain off and not be stressed about anything.”

Truman Tipton, a junior from Arizona majoring in graphic design, shared his reasoning for coming to the event. Tipton said, “I came because I saw cookies and then decided it would be fun to make a craft while also being able to eat cookies.”

Moia Clarke encouraged students come to events put on by Counseling and Disability Services in the future. She said, “Students can learn about the different ways to relax and de-stress. Last week, we did meditation, and this week was a different way of de-stressing.”

Derek Clarke shared why he enjoys coming to the events put on by the Counseling and Disability Services. He said, “It is always fun to come because they always put in a lot of effort and love what they do.”

Tipton added he thought it was a good idea to make the origami crafts offered, but perhaps in the future it would also be good to have activities such as finger painting to also bring back a child-like state while de-stressing.