San Bernardino Valley College students embraced their creative sides during a recent Coffee & Canvas event hosted by Student Health Services.

coffee and canvas event in student health services

Coffee & Canvas was held in the Student Health Services building, which is open to Wolverines for almost all health and mental health concerns. It was “intended to be a fun, playful way to engage students with the intention of connecting them with resources and services that are available through student health,” Kindra Davenport of Student Health Services said.

The pandemic has upended lives, and Davenport said many students are having a “difficult time reintegrating back into life,” leading to higher instances of depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and PTSD. Wanting to hold an event that was “light, playful, and fun, with the intention of reducing stress and anxiety in our student population,” Davenport came up with the idea for Coffee & Canvas. Fourteen students participated, spending their morning painting canvases while sipping coffee.

“It was awesome to see students laughing, painting, and being playful,” Davenport said. “To my surprise, this was the first time any of the students in attendance have ever had the opportunity to paint a canvas. That was so shocking to me. Art and play are not just for kids. Adults benefit tremendously when they can let loose and work on something creative and fun.”

Art is also a “really great way to process big things,” Davenport continued. “Children process all their conflicts through art and play, and adults would benefit if they learned to do the same.”

Coffee & Canvas was a success, and not just because all of the chairs were filled and students were able to go home with a new piece of art. The event was a reminder that SBVC students have health and mental health resources available if needed, provided by faculty and staff that supports them.

“I think we are all going through something, and what has made this pandemic so difficult is the lack of community and social support,” Davenport shared. “That said, I wanted to be intentional about helping students connect not only to the resources here on campus but to other students and the campus community. Life was not meant to be lived alone. We are meant to be in nature and in community with others.”