Children’s Art Therapy: The community feedback period for this idea began on 9/12/2018 and ended on 11/11/2018. *STATUS UPDATE*

What is the problem that needs to be addressed? Please describe how it is related to mental health.

With the rise of social media and the increasing pressures young people feel to achieve and compete, we all need a respite from this competition. Recently, I found out that the high school kids in some of our high-pressure areas are enduring a high incidence of depression and anxiety. I heard about this one girl who developed a bad case of acne due to living under constant stress. High schoolers suffering from these mental health issues will face significant learning barriers and will be more likely to drop out of high school.


Why is this a concern for Orange County? What can Orange County and other counties learn from this project?

Between 2005 and 2014, the hospitalization rates for major depression among children and youth in Orange County increased by 117%! In a county that pushes children to succeed and excel, we all need a respite from this competition, and there is no better sanctuary than developing one’s curiosity, creativity, and imagination. From this project, I hope others can learn to use their creative potential to create something truly amazing and beneficial to those suffering from mental health issues.


What is currently being done to resolve this problem in our county and throughout the United States? If applicable: Is it working; why or why not?

Psychiatrists, support groups, and hospitals are working hard to resolve mental health issues in Orange County and throughout the United States. According to a 2012 study, progress has been made with 61% children from Orange County receiving the care they need. This percentage has been increasing over the years. Only because Orange County truly cares about its youth inhabitants with mental health institutes and counseling programs dedicated to solving mental health issues are progress able to be made.


What is new or different about this project idea? Please describe how this differs from what is already being done (Question 6). Please list any research that was done on this topic.

As an amateur artist myself, I know the therapeutic value of the act of creation, which is why my book project is about the ameliorating effects of art. Instead of taking the “standard” approach with medicine, this project uses art to bring peace to the mind. This project idea involves art therapy, a field that has been greatly ignored but proves exceptionally helpful toward people of all ages, especially children. As found by art therapists, Gersch & Sao Joao Goncalves (2006), art therapy helps children better cope with feelings. It is a great outlet for reducing stress and anxiety.


What is the project idea? Please describe how this project will operate.

This project idea aims to combine the innovative forces of kids to help other kids discover their own creative potential, boosting their confidence in themselves. “Pimples of Promise,” a charitable book I created, will be used to fund free art classes for young people suffering from anxiety, depression, and more at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. These art classes will be run through a peer-based program, focusing on kids inspiring kids to use their creative ability to find peace. This project strives to boost children’s confidence and provide a fun, safe haven where they can forget about all their troubles.


Additional Information:

This idea had been discussed with CHOC and had been approved! Currently, I have been working on finding places where I can sell “Pimples of Promise” to raise funds for this cause. Please feel free to give me any feedback to help make this project come true!

September 5, 2018


Is there a specific childhood age group that this program will target? TAY , younger age, etc.

How will the peers within this program be trained and supervised?

Art therapy with children exhibiting mental health symptoms is a common therapeutic practice and is currently being done within a hospital setting at many sites. Is the use of peers-kids helping other kids- what makes this program different from other programs?

What do you think can be learned from this project that would be different than existing art therapy literature?

Is this program in the process of being implemented within a local hospital?

Unfortunately, this ask is way too small in scope. California in general and Orange County in particular has not invested in triple board ( physician training programs. Orange County does not have a Child/Adolescent Psych Emergency Room (until CHOC builds theirs). Orange County does have wellness centers geared towards adults, but I am not aware of such facilities geared towards children. The OC Wellness Centers geared towards adults do have art programs.

An organizational chart of Orange County psych resources might be a good idea so residents (and OC Health Care Agency) can know what resources do exist here in Orange County. It is unfair to ask the general public to research system wide questions.

Innovations Team

Thank you for your idea submission. Upon review and discussion, it was determined that art therapy is a commonly established practice and it is unclear what new learning this project could contribute to the field of mental health. The Innovation team is unable to continue exploring this idea under the MHSA Innovation component as currently proposed.

Comments are closed.

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