Painted Brain denies the common distinction between mental health and mental illness. Many of the contributors to Painted Brain live with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, challenges that impact as many as 1 in 4 people. People living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, (formerly manic depression) are also found in great abundance in our midst. Painted Brain is a place for people with mental illness to demonstrate our mental health through action and through the arts. You don’t have to be mentally ill to find mental health, but it might just give us the leg up. As Krishnamurti famously writes, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Painted Brain community has been going strong for more than a decade. The first-of-its-kind amalgam of mental health professionals and people living with mental health challenges, our community represents a cutting-edge response to America’s mental health crisis. Art and media are the tools with which we build this community. Creating a message about mental health is what brings us all together. The arts help people interact socially and effectively in all situations, but are especially valuable for people experiencing the impacts of trauma, psychosis, depression, autism, anxiety and other unwanted mental experiences. Art activities create dialogue and connection. We have been active in this conversation for over ten years and we have only just begun to reach our potential.