Many U.S. veterans and soldiers battle chronic pain, either received as a result or a direct impact of military operative actions. The number of those who deal with pain, as well as the likes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse is high. Studies indicate almost half of America’s military veterans experience some form of on-going pain (Reider). The study (NIH), which was a comparative analysis between veterans and nonveterans, basically highlights the importance of the need to help U.S. soldiers and veterans manage their pain.

For our local veterans who are looking for an expressive outlet for stress relief, the Mansfield Art Center continues to offer the Veterans Expressive Arts Class for Spring and it begins April 3. This is an eight week class which meets every Monday evening from 6-8pm and it is free to anyone who has served in any branch of the military, regardless of type of discharge.

This is a unique class in that it is facilitated by Cheryl Pete, who holds a master’s degree in art therapy and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). She is experienced in working with veterans, adults with disabilities and individuals with substance abuse and addiction issues. In her class, veterans will use art to express and communicate stories and emotions. Through art, self-expression is encouraged, helping to relieve stress and to build self-confidence.

Our friends at the Mansfield News Journal have a wonderful article which talks about Ms. Pete and some of the veterans she works with. You can read the article by visiting the MNJ website at http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/local/2017/03/11/art-therapy-transforms-veterans/98816464/.

We are delighted to be able to keep offering this important class for our area veterans. Funded entirely from donations, this class requires no fee, only an on-line registration from this website! Thank you all for your support!

Works Cited
NIH. National Institutes of Health. 13 December 2016. 14 March 2017. <(https://nccih.nih.gov/news/press/veterans_pain>.

Reider, Dr. Eve. Blog. 4 January 2017. 14 March 2017. <https://nccih.nih.gov/research/blog/partnering-on-pain>.