The David Lawrence Center is expanding its current art therapy program in its Children’s Crisis Stabilization Unit with a $2,500 grant from the Naples United Church of Christ. The program will be held three times a week rather than just twice a month, nearly quadrupling the number of children able to participate in this program, offered on the inpatient mental health unit where children experiencing a psychiatric crisis receive brief voluntary and involuntary evaluation and treatment. Children stay an average of three days on the unit.
Art therapy sessions are conducted by an independent registered art therapist and mental health counselor and utilize the therapeutic use of art to help children who experience emotional difficulties, mental illness, trauma, or life challenges. The creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps children resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, achieve insight, elevate mood, and increase self-esteem and self-awareness.
The goal of the art therapy program is to improve the child’s ability to communicate emotional distress, rebuild a sense of trust, decrease sense of isolation, increase self-expression, provide and reinforce emotional regulation skills, and increase the child’s sense of well-being while on the unit.
David Lawrence Center CEO Scott Burgess adds, “We are very pleased to partner with Naples United Church of Christ on the expansion this holistic art therapy program. Their support will help advance our strategic priorities to enhance community collaborations and partnerships; grow child and adolescent services; expand development efforts and financial resources as well as utilize innovative clinical programming to help more children in need. We are truly blessed to have their organization’s continued investment in our mission.”
Naples United Church of Christ raises grant funding through its Bargain Box Resale Shop and donations from its congregation and volunteers. For additional information, visit www.naplesucc.org.
The Center also currently is accepting registrations for its Making Positive Choices Youth Prevention Group, a psycho-educational series that helps adolescents (14-18) who are experiencing difficulties making choices that support a healthy lifestyle to take their lives in the right direction.
The program educates participants on the value of good health, positive decision making, recognizing risk-taking and substance abuse, understanding how the media impacts personal health, improving family communication, building healthy relationships, and managing stress, anger, and other emotions.
Eight biweekly sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-5:00 p.m., starting September 6 at 2806 Horseshoe Drive. The cost is $75. For additional information, please call 239-263-4013.