AGH and Warhol Museum team up on PTSD study


Allegheny General Hospital is in Historic Deutschtown. (Photo by Kelsey Shea).

Two Northside institutions are collaborating to help children and adolescents in the Pittsburgh community combat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The Andy Warhol Museum teamed up with Allegheny General Hospital to explore art’s potential to help children affected by PTSD.

The program which began in June utilizes art viewing and art making workshops created for children and adolescents who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events.

“The general idea is a feasibility project between the AGH and the Warhol,” said Dr. Anthony Mannarino, director of the Center of Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents and vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry at AGH. “We would like to see if adding an art component to the evidence-based treatment that we provide at our Center adds incremental value in reducing trauma-related symptoms in these children.”

This is not the first time The Andy Warhol Museum and AGH have worked together to study the effects of art on children.

In the past, The Warhol has worked with mental health professionals in the area of autism to help kids better understand and interpret facial expressions. The history between the Northside neighbors played an integral role in developing this new project.

“We sort of both had these ideas simultaneously and contacted each other because of a previous relationship we had with one of their administrators,” said Mannarino.

Mannarino is unaware of this type of study ever being conducted in the United States. He and his team are hopeful about the potential progress and advancement that can be made in the treatment of kids affected by PTSD.

“We are hoping that for some children, receiving art education at the Warhol in the interpretation and understanding of facial expressions will add to their treatment gains that they achieve through our Center,” he said.

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