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2017 Service-Learning Symposium: Holistic Approach to Improve Self-Care Among Individuals with Mental Illness

Presentation Details

Holistic Approach to Improve Self-Care Among Individuals with Mental Illness

Authors: Felicia Fialkovic, Aimee Jaklik, Miranda King, Sarah Phillips, and Ashlie Simmons

Faculty Supervisor: Nicole Masano, RN, MSN, CNM, CNE


Five nursing students set out to bring awareness to and education for those living with mental health issues in our community. We partnered with the Golden Isles chapter for the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) and discovered the members struggle most with healthy coping mechanisms for stress. Upon conducting literature review, we learned those living with mental illnesses or those in a caregiver role, experience higher levels of stress than their mentally healthy counterparts. Through the first part of our presentation, we provided education on the physiological effects of stress, along with various non-pharmaceutical coping methods (e.g. nutrition, physical activity, mindfulness, and art therapy). The second portion included each attendee taking part in an art therapy session. We provided predesigned and blank canvases, various colors of paint and brushes for their choosing. Though most did not identify as having an artistic gift, the outcome spoke differently. Each canvas was unique and extremely artistic and descriptive of each personality represented. Overall, the act of painting seemed to increase conversation and decrease levels of unfamiliarity among the members.