Skip to content

Healing Art Program Breaks Mental Health Barriers Among OCDE ACCESS School Teens

Teens utilize Art & Creativity for Healing’s Art4Healing® method to promote emotional healing through art and creative expression

Our troubled youth and teens have benefitted greatly from the Art4Healing® classes, giving them a way to vent their fear and anxiety by learning how to express themselves creatively on canvas.” – Vern Burton

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES – January 16, 2024

Art & Creativity for Healing and the Orange County Department (OCDE) have partnered to provide Art4Healing® workshops for teens in ACCESS (Alternative, Community, and Correctional Education Schools and Services) schools. Since 2022, over 5000 students have participated in the program Raging Colors: Expressive Painting for Teens utilizing the Art4Healing® method promoting emotional healing through art and creative expression for teens struggling with mental health challenges.

The ongoing workshops held weekly at all 24 OCDE ACCESS schools throughout Orange County have achieved positive results and feedback among students.

Our troubled youth and teens have benefitted greatly from the Art4Healing® classes, giving them a way to vent their fear and anxiety by learning how to express themselves creatively with the language of abstract colors on canvas,” said Assistant Superintendent of the OCDE ACCESS School, Vern Burton who initiated the partnership.

As reported by the AMA (American Medical Association), clinical studies have found that arts engagement promotes patient recovery, relaxation and reduces patient stress, anxiety, and depression.

The Laguna Hills-based nonprofit Art & Creativity for Healing developed and certifies facilitators in their Art4Healing® method used in the ACCESS schools. During the sessions, students are led through abstract art exercises in a safe and supported space allowing for reflection on their individual experiences, frustrations, and struggles which include exposure to drugs and alcohol, peer pressure, teen pregnancy, bullying, depression, and low self-esteem.

Burton shares that ACCESS students’ everyday lives are often stressful as many face difficulties such as legal issues, foster emancipation, and homelessness.

Art & Creativity for Healing founder/director Laurie Zagon says, “Art4Healing® teaches teens that art can be a constructive part of their everyday lives and a positive way to communicate tough issues that have negatively affected them or derailed their emotional growth. As we say, the program allows individuals to express their feelings on canvas when words fail.

View our calendar for workshop opportunities!

Join our Mailing list!

Our monthly newsletter is full of Art4Healing® news, updates, inspiring stories, and creations!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact