For me, the arts have been a pillar of strength in my life since I was young. They have taught me valuable skills of confidence, gratitude and commitment.
Perhaps most importantly, the arts have taught me the ways of the world. Friendship, happiness and support were three things that were always offered to me when I committed myself to the arts, whether that be writing or theatre. Additionally, I have found that the arts are incredibly important, not just for the community, but for the individual too.
How the arts have helped me
My own mental health and mindset have been positively impacted by the arts. I know that in times of stress and anxiety, watching a play or reading a book will always comfort me and take me into a different place – one where I can forget my troubles. This effect is the same when I work with theatre companies, or write articles myself, as it keeps my mind busy and occupied elsewhere. In fact, according to The Mental Health Foundation the arts alleviate anxiety, depression and stress.
Gaining a sense of community
In regards to community, the arts of theatre and writing offer a sense of fulfilment and identity. The undying support that is offered by a committed and friendly community is perhaps the biggest comfort of all. Theatre and writing are beneficial for your health because it’s a form of escape, and to spend that time with people who enjoy the arts just as much as you is extremely therapeutic.
Theatre, in particular, can sometimes offer awareness towards serious topics, such as mental health. Some examples could be the modern musical Dear Evan Hansen or Ghost the musical. These musicals highlight themes of suicidal thoughts, loneliness, and grief. They give people acceptance and a method of release from the mindset they may be in. Musicals such as this allow people to understand that, even though it’s cliche, it does get better. Listen to this small snippet of what I believe is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt songs of support in the show, Dear Evan Hansen.
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Four Evans. Four Forever. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Today, as we begin performances in London, we officially launch our fourth #DearEvanHansen company to date. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ To commemorate the occasion, we’re releasing a never-before-heard arrangement of “For Forever,” performed by a quartet of Evans: @samtutty (London), @andrewbfeldman_ (Broadway), @_stephenanthony (North American Tour), and @rjbmarkus (Toronto). Full video at link in bio.
The positivity of having this outlet, whether watching or being in a show, reading or writing a novel, is endless. For those who feel that there is nowhere to turn or nowhere to go, it matters that these outlets exist. The world of the arts is an important one, not just because of the joy it brings to the community, but the hope it brings to the few who feel inconsolable.
This is why the arts matter.
If you ever need further help, please don’t hesitate to contact Student Wellbeing, it only takes a minute to change your life for the better.