H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Dec 26, 2013 7:46 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Cuesta College students cope with stress through art

The stresses of being a student can weigh heavily on some people. Now, a class at Cuesta College helps students with mental issues like depression and anxiety cope through art.

"Most students come to this class thinking they're not an artist and they can't create anything, and then they realize they can create some of the most beautiful pieces of art," says art teacher Kelsey Kehoe.

The goal of her class isn't to nail down the technique of painting or sculpting. It's about relaxation, breathing, coping, and dealing. Kehoe says art helps her students get through their days.

Guest artist Jenny Kompolt says the class allows students to find beauty in their pain, something she knows all to well.

"This has been very therapeutic for me, in addition to giving back to the students," says Kompolt. "I am challenged with anxiety and depression and many of the same things that the students are."

The class is supported by a grant from the San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Services Department. There are only three semesters left before the grant ends, and then Cuesta College officials will have to decide if they want to make it a regular class.

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