Community, Arts, and Advocacy Transform Mental Health

Mission and Values

3d print of the painted brain logo

Mission Statement

Painted Brain creates lasting, community-based solutions to mental health challenges and the impact of social injustice through arts, advocacy, and enterprise.

Core Components


It takes a village to recover from mental illness. Community provides safety, models new behaviors, reinforces positive change, examines and challenges limiting beliefs, and encourages engagement and positive social interactions.


Humans are creative beings and crave identity. Art is the perfect conduit to self-knowledge and self-expression. It can provide respite, comfort, safe and low-barrier interactions with peers, and new methods for being with ourselves and learning about ourselves. We know who we are through what we create in the world.


Advocacy means many things at Painted Brain. Individuals can learn to advocate for their own needs in order to receive services and support available to those that demand it. It also means advocating at the state level for Peer Services, the importance of Prevention and Early Intervention, and the message of ‘Nothing for us without us,’ from the entirety of the mental health peer movement.


Transformation means actually doing the work to significantly change how one feels, thinks, and acts. The ultimate transformation in nature is the metamorphosis – a caterpillar creates a chrysalis, reforms its entire physical structure inside the safety and security of the chrysalis, and emerges a butterfly. A supportive community is like a chrysalis for change and growth.

Mental Health

Mental health is not the absence of mental illness, it is living genuinely, taking care of oneself, living with a sense of purpose, belonging, believing in possibilities and hope, and knowing and accepting oneself.


Painted Brain

  • Peers – get involved, join a group, visit the center
  • Family/Friends – how to get a loved one involved
  • Partners – how to enhance your client outcomes and participation
  • Donors – Why support us and how to do it
  • Volunteers – how to make a difference while learning and growing


Making a difference

Impact and Success Stories

Living with a mental health challenge can be a new beginning. The medical model of recovery, i.e., counseling and medication, only offer a partial path to recovery by reducing the symptoms or severity of the challenge. While important, these interventions offer little in terms of actual recovery, or how to integrate this new challenge into a health fulfilling life. Community, arts, and advocacy offer a place, a practice, and a direction around which to build an identity and renew a sense of purpose in the world.

A young man with depression had a negative interaction with the LAPD, which eventually led to a referral to Painted Brain through the LA City Attorney’s office. This young man found an outlet for his arts practice and a community that accepted him. He is now a lead advocate and a valued member of our community center peer team.