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Art-to-Heart Art Therapy

We provide a safe space for youth and adults to prioritize their mental health through artistic coping to create their "Dream Identity."

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Campaign Ends on June 30, 2024

Project Description

The Concern

Art-to-Heart stemmed from a need to promote collective coping during an epidemic of isolation to create an outcome of colorful hope for the gloominess and uncertainty of life's transitions and grey areas.

 

Who We  Are and What We Do?

Art-to-Heart is a distinguished program within the portfolio of Dream Identity Counseling, dedicated to offering creative, expressive, and artistic outlets to teenagers, adults, families, and business organizations. Central to our mission is the prioritization of mental health, underpinned by affordable care. Our program provides researched based coping strategies for the daily rigors of life, enabling the collective release of pent-up emotions, and fostering group cohesion among families and professional teams through relatability, shared experiences, and individual expression.

The genesis of Art-to-Heart emerged as a response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. In its initial stages, it served as a virtual refuge for youth and adults confined to their homes, offering a means of artistic expression to cope with the isolation and anxiety induced by the pandemic. As pandemic-related restrictions were lifted, Art-to-Heart seamlessly transitioned into an in-person art therapy group, further fortifying its role as a pillar of community and connection. Utilizing creative and artistic tools, we facilitate the release of stressors, validate one another's experiences, and nurture resilience.

Over time, Art-to-Heart has extended its impact to support the Florida community in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and has played a pivotal role in addressing environmental crises and grief relief. Our services are flexible and adaptable, ensuring our presence at business wellness conferences, community events, and youth gatherings across the Florida region.

 

 

Why We Use Art for Healing?

Art therapy techniques have a profound positive impact, offering individuals the opportunity to creatively navigate their experiences and emotions, particularly in situations where verbal expression may prove challenging to express.  The part of the brain responsible for housing traumatic memories is also the source of our creative capacities. It is within this intriguing relationship that the potential for transformative healing lies.  Trauma is the response to a harmful event.  While we can not re-create our past experiences, we can reconstruct the ways we process and continue to respond to that event. When trauma is appropriately processed and stored during youth ages, it paves the way for a more adaptive development of the brain's neural pathways. This, in turn, contributes to enhanced mental well-being in adulthood and, ultimately, diminishes the mental and physical symptoms often associated with trauma responses.  Furthermore, the healing of trauma that is facilitated through art therapy, serves as a bridge between the processes of trauma assimilation and the redefinition of the narratives that shape our lives through our lived experiences.

See more about Expressive Arts and Mental Health in a blog written by Danesha: "Express Your Heart" Article

 

"Defining My Identity Masks"

Our Growth Goals and Ambition

1. Scholarship Funds: Art-to-Heart held it's first annual Summer Camp Scholarship program in the summer of 2023. This initiative was thoughtfully designed to extend scholarships to adolescents aged between 13 and 17 who met specific criteria emphasizing creative programming as a means of therapeutic intervention. We find ourselves in need of funding to fortify our scholarship funds, ensuring that they remain accessible to those in need. The primary objective is to provide essential financial support to families seeking mental health services for up to two children within their household. Moreover, securing additional funding opens up the possibility of extending our program to a wider age range, accommodating younger children through a distinct group tailored to their age and cognitive appropriateness. The program has began to collect data and research to continue to promote more criteria and needed resources for the populations served. Furthermore, our program is already diligently engaged in data collection and research initiatives that are geared towards continually enhancing the program's eligibility criteria and identifying necessary resources to better serve the diverse populations we are committed to supporting and fostering the well-being of those we serve.

 

 2. Designated Safe Space: Dream Identity is currently seeking to establish a physical brick-and-mortar facility to offer a dedicated space for in-person services. In addition to our virtual and mobile services, we aim to create a foundational environment where clients can consider it their 'safe haven' for their creative wellness requirements. Given the increased sense of isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing demand among our clients for in-person connections and community-based counseling.

 

3. Virtual Expansion:  We are developing an Art-to-Heart E-book, which would serve as a psycho-educational resource encompassing emotional intelligence and art therapy techniques for individuals to utilize for personal self-care.  We are also looking to develop an Art-to-Heart E-course for mental health providers to teach tools and concepts for client care through creative and expressive modalities for youth and adults. The objective is to make these valuable tools accessible to a broader audience, enabling them to manage their emotions and life stressors effectively, both individually and within their familial contexts.

 

 

Why Support a Black Owned Business in Healthcare?

Our main goal is  to help break the stigma by providing access to care and creating tools for people to prioritize their mental health through creative release instead of the cliche talk therapy. Minorities, especially, face many micro aggressions, discriminations, and barriers within society, and many of those needs have been ignored by mainstream society but also hidden in silence. While silence has been taught to be a protective factor,  the lack of awareness surrounding some of these challenges further impacts the cycle that minorities suffer from lack of resources as well as lack of access to adequate health care, more specifically, mental health care.  Relating to Minority Mental Health, there are challenges such as insurance gaps covering mental health services, lack of relatable providers of healthcare in urban areas,  which also includes lack of multicultural competence of minority mental health.  This experience has left minorities to feel helpless and voiceless in advocating for their mental health needs.  The cycle continues to lead to helpless behavior, which heightens the stigma of reaching out for support and finding resources can become a stressor in itself.

Although there has been an increase in Black women-owned businesses, Black-owned firms struggle with lack of access to funding due to statistically, black-owned firms being twice as likely to be rejected for business loans in the U.S.  We need support in promoting and creating wellness opportunities for a healthier community. 

 

Thank you so much for your time and interest in reading, sharing and investing in our program.  Please know your every seed of support you sow to uplift our mission will later become a blooming flower of a someone's healing and a returned harvest of kindness to your life of wellness.

-Danesha Ward-Simmons

owner of Dream Identity Counseling

 

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Where are we located?

-Florida

2. Do we travel out of state?

-Yes

3. Do we offer virtual services?

-Yes

4. What are the age ranges we serve?

-ages 7-70

 

 

 

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

0 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
Virtual Art-to-Heart 1x Event

The recipient of this prize will receive a one time virtual Art-to-Heart event for your group to explore stress release, collective coping and creative arts. The event date will be agreed upon by both parties. Appropriate groups are:

  • Youth Groups 
  • Business Groups 
  • Team Building Groups
  • Church Groups 
  • Community Organizations 
  • Private Events 
  • Military/Veteran Groups 
  • Sports Groups (Youth, College, Semi-Pro, Pro) 
  • Senior Groups
  • Family Groups
0 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Virtual Art-to-Heart Workshop

The recipient of this prize will receive a virtual 4 week Art-to-Heart workshop.  The clinician will meet with the group leaders to discuss the needs of the group members to create a specialized curriculum that includes lessons of wellness, emotional processing and creative arts. This prize is best suitable for business and corporate groups to experience employee and workplace wellness, creative release and collective coping.   The event date will be agreed upon by both parties. Appropriate groups are:

  • Youth Groups 
  • Business Groups 
  • Team Building Groups
  • Church Groups 
  • Community Organizations 
  • Private Events 
  • Military/Veteran Groups 
  • Sports Groups (Youth, College, Semi-Pro, Pro) 
  • Senior Groups
  • Family Groups
0 Supporters
Select this reward

About the Entrepreneur

Riverview, FL
Created 1 Campaign
Art + Music
Family
Health + Science
Social Good

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

0 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
Virtual Art-to-Heart 1x Event

The recipient of this prize will receive a one time virtual Art-to-Heart event for your group to explore stress release, collective coping and creative arts. The event date will be agreed upon by both parties. Appropriate groups are:

  • Youth Groups 
  • Business Groups 
  • Team Building Groups
  • Church Groups 
  • Community Organizations 
  • Private Events 
  • Military/Veteran Groups 
  • Sports Groups (Youth, College, Semi-Pro, Pro) 
  • Senior Groups
  • Family Groups
0 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Virtual Art-to-Heart Workshop

The recipient of this prize will receive a virtual 4 week Art-to-Heart workshop.  The clinician will meet with the group leaders to discuss the needs of the group members to create a specialized curriculum that includes lessons of wellness, emotional processing and creative arts. This prize is best suitable for business and corporate groups to experience employee and workplace wellness, creative release and collective coping.   The event date will be agreed upon by both parties. Appropriate groups are:

  • Youth Groups 
  • Business Groups 
  • Team Building Groups
  • Church Groups 
  • Community Organizations 
  • Private Events 
  • Military/Veteran Groups 
  • Sports Groups (Youth, College, Semi-Pro, Pro) 
  • Senior Groups
  • Family Groups
0 Supporters
Select this reward