ART AS HEALING
Art as Healing Programs:
The heart of our organization is art. Yaya always had a pencil, paintbrush, or tattoo gun in hand. Art was her therapy, her healthy escape, and her means of expression when she didn't know how to put into words how she was feeling. The importance of her art is not just based on how successful she was becoming but more so on what the art did for her in her more challenging moments. We live her legacy through her art and share the healing art provided for her. We currently run two Art as Healing programs that are curated between our organization and local artists to bring a unique, fun, and therapeutic experience to those in recovery, their families, and people who use drugs.
Art as Healing Street Edition:
Yaya Por Vida believes in investing in our non-profit-based inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities where alternate recovery tools, skills, and the program is scarce. Our Art as Healing Rehab Edition focuses on improving overall mental health, mood, motivation, and communication through a wide array of art mediums. Students are peer-led by one of our volunteer local artists for 2 hours once a month. Each session is centered around not only teaching new art techniques but also hones in on specific themes that tap into each student's individual feelings on their budding recovery.
Art as Healing | Street Edition:
Yaya Por Vida holds a monthly outreach for the houseless in the areas of Overtown and Miami Downtown. During this outreach, we not only provide food, harm reduction kits, resources, and Narcan with training but also incorporate our Art as Healing sessions. Our houseless rarely (if at all) have direct access to healing-based resources where the programming is created to meet them where they are. Substance use disorder compiled with other co-occurring mental illnesses is one of many challenges that our houseless could be facing as a barrier to housing. Through relationship building and bonds built with our houseless friends, we found out that bringing much-needed resources to them beyond feeding and harm reduction items helped to take them to the next step in recovery. Our Street Edition program is a bit different. We create "fast-art" techniques that are more street art based. Our houseless friends are always on the move for many reasons. We provide this safe space for them to slow down, breathe, take a break, and work on a quick tag or drawing that will help them reflect and recharge. This has led to more open conversations about their challenges, improved mood, and curiosity on how to proceed with the recovery. Our Art as Healing Street Edition is also an opportunity where our volunteers can connect with our participants more intimately while creating restorative pieces of their own.
Art and music therapies are being used as complements to other psychosocial treatments, which may ultimately improve patient outcomes by offering more robust treatment options (MW. R. iller et al., 1999).