U.S. Army Arts & Crafts: "Resiliency through Art" Initiative

Friday, July 25, 2014

What is it?

The U.S. Army Installation Management Command partnered with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and Family and Morale Welfare Recreation Arts & Crafts staff to develop the Resiliency through Art initiative. These are conducted art engagement sessions that help active duty Soldiers deal with stressors associated with reintegration upon returning from war.

The Resiliency through Art initiative supports the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier & Family Fitness program’s goals by providing Soldiers a calming, stress-free activity that they can enjoy on their own or with their families. According to the AATA, families who participate in art activities together often strengthen their relationships through shared enjoyment and the discovery of new strengths.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army is committed to supporting new alternatives to help Soldiers adjust to the transition from the combat environment to garrison life. The skills gained from the program help Soldiers and their families strengthen their relationships, better cope with adversity and become more resilient.

What has the Army done?

IMCOM, with support from the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program and the AATA, worked with licensed art therapists to develop the Resiliency through Art train-the-trainer curriculum, which helps to address the issue of increased combat related disorders in Soldiers returning from deployment.

Since August 2012, fifty-five MWR Arts & Crafts managers and program partners were trained by AATA to facilitate Resiliency through Art activities Army-wide. The three-day training course was taught at selected garrison pilot sites. Eight Resiliency through Art programs have been developed Army-wide with hundreds of Soldiers and their families.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

IMCOM will continue to encourage Arts & Crafts program managers to collaborate with community partners as a way to sustain and expand the garrison Resiliency through Art programs. The goal is for MWR to provide a relaxing, safe environment that fosters resiliency through a creative, unstructured environment. IMCOM will continue to work with garrison Arts & Crafts staff to increase awareness, solicit command support and provide follow-up training.

Resources:

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