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Second Lady Karen Pence stops by FOX59 to discuss art therapy, supporting military families

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Karen Pence stopped by FOX59 on Thursday to discuss the projects she’s working on as Second Lady.

She was in the Hoosier State with her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, who came to discuss the potential impact of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on businesses and agriculture.

Pence said she always enjoys coming back to Indiana.

“When the plane lands it’s like you start to relax,” she said. “It’s like you just start to feel like you’re home and a lot of people were out at the airport to greet us tonight and it was really nice.”

One of the causes Pence has chosen to bring attention to is art therapy. In Indianapolis, she and her team have rented out a gallery downtown, where pieces done by children in art therapy at Riley Hospital will be displayed.

“So it’s going to be great to see their artwork up there but you know an art therapist is a mental health professional. I am an art teacher but I could not do what they do. So they don’t just do arts and crafts, but somehow they are able to bring out emotion from these kids, help them deal with anxiety levels and give them a positive outlook while they’re in the hospital.”

Children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from art therapy. Veterans have also seen success.

“So our soldiers come home and they have PTSD and they can’t express what’s going on, but the art therapy kind of brings out these nightmares and the struggles that they are dealing with and then they can face them and talk about them.”

Another cause that Pence is passionate about is supporting military families. One resource she suggested was Military OneSource, where family members can go if they need help with child care or special needs children or counseling.

“If they’re struggling with anxiety or depression they can get counseling for free right away,” said Pence. “There is a lot of support for our spouses because right away people don’t really realize that the military spouses are really the home front heroes. They are the ones who keep everything going when their loved one is deployed and if we have military spouses who are not happy and are struggling then our military service members are going to get out of the service.”

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