Art therapy may not seem like something you’re likely to see in a church, but our Upper Hutt Parish whānau believe it is a valid answer to the needs they see in their community. The parish family at St Hilda’s has restarted their Hilda’s Art Space initiative for the year, having established the creative therapy solution in October 2018.
The Co-Priest in Charge, Rev Andrea Lukin, tells us: “as a parish we are aware that there is a growing concern for mental health issues in the Hutt Valley area and that there are very few resources available for people who are struggling. Following the example of Christ, we felt led to reach out in love to provide assistance.” She continues: “We established an art programme designed to help those who are dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness and grief. Our aim is to offer a safe environment where people can use any form of art creativity as a means for expressing their need, and finding hope.”
Hilda’s Art Space was launched in October 2018 in the Parish Hall, and has already been well attended. Andrea tells us that art therapy has been widely used with those coping with anxiety, depression, substance dependency, stress, post-traumatic stress, attention deficit hyperactivity, aging and geriatric issues, cancer, compassion fatigue, eating disorders, family and relationship issues. This seems like a long list, but because art therapy allows people to express feelings on any subject through creative work, rather than through speech, it is believed to be particularly helpful for those who feel out of touch with their emotions or feelings.
If you’re in the Hutt Valley area and you or someone you know might benefit from a safe, creative space such as Hilda’s Art Space, feel free to come along. Sessions run from 1-5pm on Thursdays, and resume for the year on Thursday the 14th of February – at St Hilda’s Church, 35 Cruickshank Road, Clouston Park, Upper Hutt.