American College Counseling Association

Connecting Through the Arts: Reducing stigma and supporting early intervention/prevention through media and creativity

In this interactive session, you will experience the power of short film and to reduce internalized stigma around mental illness, leveraging the emotional and connective properties of the arts to connect your students with resources on campus and in your community. You’ll learn techniques used by Art With Impact (AWI) to support students’ resiliency and agency by defining their own terms around mental health. You’ll also gain insight into the importance of reducing stigma for the sake of early intervention, through exposure to data gathered by AWI over the past five years. AWI’s “Movies for Mental Health” program, on which this session is based, has reached over 3,000 college and university students in over 95 workshops. Post-workshop evaluations show that 89% of attendees felt the workshop reduced stigma around mental illness, and 72% said they are more likely to seek support for their mental health after attending the workshop. In this session, you will experience aspects of the workshop, such as defining your own terms around mental health, and viewing and discussing short films from AWI’s library.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the impact of self-stigma related to mental illness on college campuses. This includes: how self-stigma manifests in our culture and in students, ways in which it prevents students from seeking support, and how stigma in general affects students’ well being.
  • Experience how art and filmmaking can promote mental wellness and lead to early intervention and prevention. This includes: exposure to Art With Impact’s OLIVE collection of short films related to mental health, analysis of artistic expression as an innovative means of connection and empowerment, exploration of truth-telling as a form of activism and practice of mental wellness.
  • Explore ways to combat stigma in collaboration. This includes: understanding how you can partner with Art With Impact to bring it to your school, sharing ideas of the role the arts can play in promoting mental wellness, and connecting with AWI and fellow professionals to deepen stigma reduction and early intervention initiatives.


Date:February 17, 2017
Time:3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Westin Tampa Harbour Island
725 S Harbour Island Blvd
Tampa, FL 33602 United States

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Interactive Presentation

Films Screened

Films screened and discussed at this workshop

The Letter
View Film Library