Art therapy has been shown to benefit people of all ages, helping individuals experience a sense of freedom through creative expression. It   creates the opportunity for reflection and gaining insight into traumatic experiences, anxiety or depression. Thanks to a partnership with the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI), patients at Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital now have access to art therapy sessions led by students from TATI under the supervision of the hospital’s Therapeutic Recreation Department.

Meghan Noonan, one of Hennick Bridgepoint’s first art therapy students, says leading these sessions with patients was a valuable learning opportunity. “I was able to witness how the art-making process allowed patients to connect to themselves and express their feelings, thoughts, experiences, and emotions in creative ways. I will always cherish my time at Hennick Bridgepoint and carry the wisdom I learned from patients forward in my career as an art therapist.”

Art therapy can help improve cognitive and motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, build emotional resilience and provide an opportunity to practice social skills.

Patients participate individually or in a small group where they are encouraged to explore their thoughts and feelings through their art. After working with Meghan for up to 10 weeks patients exhibited their works of art on the unit. “Rehabilitation is not just physical but also mental and spiritual. Art therapy helped nurture this part of me,” says Michael Dytyniak, an art therapy participant. “I can’t imagine my rehabilitation without art therapy.”

As an academic health sciences centre, Sinai Health partners with dozens of educational institutions to provide learning opportunities for future health care professionals. Thanks to the many employees and physicians who engage in clinical teaching, both our Hennick Bridgepoint and Mount Sinai campuses are learning environments of choice for trainees in medicine, nursing and the health disciplines.