“Mental health services in America are consistently provided on an individualized basis, unintentionally separating people. We’re changing that every day through our dynamic community, and after ten years we have only just begun."
- Dave Leon
“Both Jobs and Gates once envisioned a computer in every home. We envision computers in every recovery facility with workshops teaching code, using the experiential learning and inclusive education model. Coding is therapeutic and gives a great opportunity for individuals to create community and achieve financial security."
- David Israelian
Painted Brain creates lasting community-based solutions to mental health challenges and the impact of social injustice through arts, advocacy, and enterprise.
In reaction to the trend Dave was seeing among his young adult clients at an outpatient mental health center, he started the art group that became Painted Brain in 2005. Two years later, David Israelian would join him to build out the online components, vocational programs and operation.
Our dynamic community happens at our headquarters in Koreatown. We have 1200 sq. ft. of community space open 4 days a week to an average of 60 individuals a month with just 10 part time staff, Social Work and Occupational Therapy interns.
2500 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 934 LA 90057
Hours of Operation: 9 am - 5 pm
Days of Operation: Monday , Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fridays
Painted Brain gets its message out in person through our speakers bureau seen by more than 700 students in the first half of 2016. Online we reach people through our Newspaper, the Painted Brain Magazine, and our social media channels which has seen growth by 1800% in the past year to over 60,000 followers.
Our core team has worked together for years and consists of high-skilled, committed, driven directors of web development, media, social media, cartooning, and marketing, dedicated peer leaders all guided by our founders, Dave Leon, a visionary social worker and David Israelian, a visionary engineer.
"Nobody sends flowers when you're in the mental hospital but Painted Brain is there when you get out. Their creative community is changing the way people think about mental illness."
- Elyn Saks, Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California.
Painted Brain has operated on a service model of business with limited focus on fundraising. For much of its history, the project ran with volunteer mental health consumers and social work interns under the supervision of the founding director and founding CTO building an arts community and inclusive education program for aspiring coders and ux designers. Through the internship, Painted Brain developed an effective model for art group interventions for psychiatric populations that has been shown to increase connection and trust and to decrease anxiety.
Painted Brain generates operational costs by contracting weekly art group services to local psychiatric facilities and treatment centers and through an LA County contract for peer-to-peer contact and outreach. These sources pay for our community center facilities and staff. Current operating budget is about $12,000 per month.
David Israelian's tech company, CodiePie supports the inclusive education model.
SmartView Project - Success Story from CodiePie's Coding Workshop
Our numbers have increased since this analysis report
Painted Brain is meeting two of the biggest needs in mental health: a place to fit in and a makeover for mental illness. Painted Brain provides a safe space for people with mental illness to find community and purpose, open to all. It also challenges what mental illness looks like to the public through our media projects, social media campaigns and public events in Los Angeles (so far).
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