Help and healing through the arts

We are all in this together, you and I.

Sometimes things are grand. Peachy. Sunshine-y with clear skies and, preferably, low humidity. Cake and ice cream—or the treats your genetics let you enjoy comfortably.

Other times, things aren’t. As a result, we might need a little help.

Making their way to Hub HQ this week were two news stories of great interest to our mission. The stories go right to how the arts intersect with well-being, illustrating perfectly how they are put to use to help when your metaphorical skies are stormy or your ice cream cone topples to the hot pavement.

The South Carolina Arts Commission envisions all people benefiting “from a variety of creative experiences.” Those benefits are wide-ranging and depend on many things. For example, we’ve seen recently how they lend themselves to public health. Today, we share stories about their positive effects on other health matters, specifically mental health.


Art therapy in Charleston County schools

A December report out of Charleston County schools showed alarming increases in suicide assessments, so the district is mobilizing to address the mental health needs of its students. How? You guessed it; with the arts.

Reporting by WCSC-TV 5 in Charleston reveals that a new program: “one-hour, once a week art therapy classes at five schools,” according to Live 5 News’ Nick Reagan. The program is in partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina.

The Hub supports local journalism and doesn’t wish to plagiarize. We will stop there and encourage you to go check out Reagan’s reporting for more on this story.

California arts learning project goes viral

The Hub covers South Carolina arts, but we’re not limited to those borders. Once you call the “Peptoc Hotline” from California elementary school students, you’ll be grateful. (We have, and we are.)

We will use the CNN coverage here, but they and others have covered this story about a “public art project from students at West Side Elementary School in Healdsburg, California, [that is] designed to offer positive and encouraging mantras to help everyone through this trying time.”

Long story short, the school’s art teacher Jessica Martin put together recordings of the students offering hotline callers encouragement, positivity, a smile, and maybe some lifted spirits. You try not to smile after a pep talk from a kindergartener, or after choosing our favorite, option 4 (a looped recording of the children laughing).

The name for the project came from Martin’s 6-year-old son. Once the artist had captured all the recordings, she asked her son to use his special block letters to create a flyer to advertise the hotline. She purposely gave him no direction beyond what she thought would be the name: “Peptalk.” He sounded out the words and mistakenly spelled them as “Peptoc,” which Martin loved for its honesty and unintentional reference to TikTok. The name stuck.

The hotline might be limited to the remainder of the school year unless outside funding allows for it to continue beyond that.

When you’re ready for your “Peptoc,” call 707.998.8410. The hotline is free, but charges might apply from your phone service provider.


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