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Painting with Purpose: Healing Through Creativity

Imagine having a consistent place where you could make friends, learn a new skill, and improve your overall mental wellness in a nurturing environment. This is the environment that the Health Education Council and painter/ instructor Gaby Flores created through Painting Through Healing, a weekly painting group for Spanish-speaking women. Flores completed our Spanish language Peers Helping Peers cohort in Fall 2021 and has hosted five, six-week painting groups in conjunction with HEC.


Approximately 12 residents meet weekly at our office in South Sacramento, while other residents join by Zoom. The classes opened with meditation exercises and included discussions for participants to explore mental wellness and build connections. Community Health Leader Aracely Garcia welcomed them with refreshments and set up a cozy, calming space. Many residents started unfamiliar with meditation and were worried about their limited experience painting, so creating the comfortable space and having Gaby’s calming, reassuring presence was critical. “By the end we had people who had never lifted a pencil to draw tell us that they were confident artists and wanted to continue painting and learning new ways to be creative,” added Garcia.


They share with us that they had started using meditation and other wellness practices to disconnect while experiencing challenges. “People are looking for a community where they can meet people, be creative and learn a new skill, and HEC is grateful that we can create that space for countless women in the community” added Program Director Lupita Rodriguez.