Art Making Promotes Mental Health: A Solution for Schools That Time Forgot


  • Brittany Harker Martin University of Calgary
  • S. Mitchell Colp University of Calgary



mental health, effects of art making, psychometrics, flow theory, art and wellness


This article presents art as a tool for promoting mental health in schools by examining the effects of art making in a sample of 104 school-based mental health professionals. It unites findings from unrelated disciplines to derive and test a new conceptual framework proposing that active engagement in a visual-tactile process over time mediates a shift to healthy mental states and that regular engagement in such process builds mental health capacity. Four hypotheses are tested through psychometrics with statistically significant findings for all (p < .05). Through this study, we advance Flow Theory in identifying a new causal mechanism for accessing Flow; and we make a novel, interdisciplinary contribution to the field of mental health in providing psychometric evidence that making visual art promotes mental health.

Author Biographies

Brittany Harker Martin, University of Calgary

Brittany Harker Martin, PhD, is the Director of the Werklund Youth Leadership Centre, and Assistant Professor of Leadership at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.

S. Mitchell Colp, University of Calgary

Affiliate Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Calgary




How to Cite

Martin, B. H., & Colp, S. M. (2022). Art Making Promotes Mental Health: A Solution for Schools That Time Forgot. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 45(1), 156–183.