|CANCER & TREATMENTS FOR CANCER CENTER PATIENTS PREVENTION & RISK ASSESSMENT CLINICAL TRIALS & RESEARCH LIVING WITH CANCER|
News Arvhive - Progress Newsletter Fall 2002 Online
From watercolors to worry dolls, the U-M Cancer Center Art Therapy Program volunteers help adult patients tap into their creativity. Art therapy addresses the stress of illness by exploration and expression through art.
A team of volunteers, several from the U-M School of Art, may be found each week in the infusion area offering patients the opportunity to work on pre-designed projects. The volunteers make the hospital experience less stressful by offering projects such as handmade journals, rain sticks, picture frames and origami.
When asked about the impact of the Art Therapy Program and its volunteers, a patient recently commented, "It was a great benefit and helped me a lot. It took my mind off my troubles. The thing I liked least was when the volunteer had to leave."
The weekly volunteers also assist in the Cancer Center Art Technique classes. Volunteers help with fine motor skills, such as cutting, tracing and other detailed work with which patients need assistance. Classes teach such techniques as silk painting, weaving and watercolors, and are led by professional artists. Many of the artists are members of the Creative Arts Council of Rochester.
Volunteers are supervised by the Cancer Center art therapist, who stresses that no art background is required. "Being comfortable with people" is the key skill needed. Patients may request a volunteer's help with a pre-designed project by calling the Art Therapy Program at 734-615-4012. Information about the art techniques classes, as well as other art therapy offerings, is also available at that number.
If you are interested in learning more about this or other volunteer opportunities, contact Mary McCully, Program Coordinator, Volunteer and Community Resource Program at 734936-8307.