Twenty L.A. High School students participated in this weeklong event, funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
The project, held at the Los Angeles High School (4650 W Olympic Blvd.), is part of the Korean Integrated Mental Health Services Program (KISM) at KYCC. Students will not only paint the mural, but participate in a larger discussion about mental health among teens and adolescents.
The mural design by RFX1, shows a helping hand reaching out to a person in need. RFX1 shared that he received mental health treatment at KYCC as a high schooler, and knows firsthand the importance of mental health resources for struggling teenagers.
“I was definitely meant to do this project,” said RFX1. “I was looking to paint a mural on mental health. KYCC was looking for a muralist for that specific reason, so I reached out to them. It stood out to me because I used to go to KYCC as a kid for mental health treatment. Everything came full circle.”
One in five adolescents have a serious mental health disorder, such as depression and/or anxiety disorders at some point in their lives. Mental health disorders can disrupt school performance, harm relationships, and lead to suicide (the second leading cause of death among adolescents). KYCC’s KISM Program Coordinator Eric Ji said, “By starting conversations about mental health with our friends and family, we can steer people struggling with mental illnesses to counseling resources and connect them to professionals who can help. I hope that the mural painting on a high school campus will help students have more open discussions about mental health and the mental health resources available to them through KYCC.”
Korean Integrated Service Management Model (KISM) services are appropriate for Korean clients in the Los Angeles area who are experiencing 1) primary mental health conditions as well as 2) substance abuse and/or chronic physical health issues. This program is designed to serve the multiple needs of families who are unserved and underserved due to stigma, lack of insurance and limited access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
KISM faces the significant stigma regarding mental health and substance abuse that seems to prevent individuals from coming forward to request services. In particular, KISM is targeting outreach efforts to engage with adolescents, young adults and individuals who struggle with substance abuse.
To learn more about how to receive Clinical Services, click here.
To read more about KYCC’S Community Mural Project with at Los Angeles High School and RFX1: