How might we explore the benefits of art as a therapeutic means of dealing with situations affecting mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of young adults?

Cassandra Morrisey

Society tends to view STEM fields as more important than art and as a result art therapy can be seen as an inadequate solution over traditional therapies. Art therapy challenges individuals to express themselves through art. However, change is never easy; developing and using old habits or coping mechanisms to alleviate stress, worry, or pain is difficult to detach from. There is a solution through art that can be beneficial for the different aspects of life affecting an individual’s mental, physical or emotional well-being.

Art therapy is not often thought of as a useful strategy, but is something many individuals turn to without knowing it. It allows freedom of expression and exploration of different mediums, such as journaling, painting, sculpture, or sketching, which are all forms of art therapy. 

How might we reduce barriers for student athletes in seeking help for issues related to mental well-being?

Emma Pincott & Reilly Bellows

Student-athletes are often considered the toughest of tough. They are perceived as physically and mentally strong individuals who cannot be broken. In reality, they are humans as well. On top of academic and life stressors, they face stressors from their sport such as pressure to perform in their sport and less time in their schedule for academic and social activities.

Once a mental well-being issue comes to fruition, student-athletes may encounter barriers which prevent them from seeking help. These barriers often go unseen to those on the outside and, ultimately, may result in feelings of hopelessness and desolation among those who are suffering.

How might we minimize the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder in order to maintain good mental health and well-being?

Emily Allen & Raquel Chamberlain

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a problem that is prevalent in Alberta and much of the Northern Hemisphere, which has decreased levels of sunlight, on average, throughout the year. SAD is categorized as a subset of depression and is most often experienced during the winter seasons when people are less likely to receive sufficient amounts of sunlight. Many people suffer from SAD every year, and it is a problem for Calgarians in particular due to long and harsh winters.

There are no permanent or long term cures for SAD sufferers. It is within interest to navigate this area of research, and discover ways to fill in the gaps within the treatment of this disorder with natural, effective and long-term treatments, combined with a warm community and a positive outlook on depressive disorders like SAD.