The Mental Health Center of Denver is excited to host the 11th Annual Voz y Corazón Youth Art Show and Benefit on June 13th from 4 – 8 p.m. at Park Hill Golf Club. The event is appropriately called The Art of Resilience. It features artwork, dinner, raffle, silent auction and a live entertainment. Tickets are $35 at the door and ages 17 and under are free. Click here for more information.
Eleven years ago, Denver Latina teens gathered with representatives from the Mental Health Center of Denver and a few other community organizations to discuss a disturbing trend that continues today. Latina teens are the most likely teen group to attempt suicide or report suicidal thoughts.
The girls worked with community leaders to develop a program that pairs small groups of youth with a caring adult mentor and local artist to meet regularly, conduct peer trainings in suicide prevention and serve as a support group and artistic outlet for vulnerable youth. They named the program Voz y Corazón (voice and heart) and today, it has expanded from solely serving Latinas to offering support to youths of all cultures, boys, elementary students, homeless youth and LGBTQ youth.
The group has fostered meaningful connections and enabled youths to help their peers and gain confidence to feel good about themselves. There are now more than 22 groups throughout Denver and one in Lakewood, each with their own artist and mentor who provide a safe environment for the youth to be creative.
We are blessed to have supportive mentors and artists who are committed to Voz y Corazón:
“My favorite thing about Voz y Corazón is getting to build relationships with the kids. It is fun to see them learn to express themselves in new, creative ways.” – Jessica, Mentor
“I love this group! I cherish the group conversations and the community we have built together.” – Nellie, Mentor
“The kids all have amazing personalities and make the classes amazing!” – Shaudae, Artist
These artists and mentors make a difference to the participants:
“It helped me express myself, making me a better person giving me strength to avoid danger.” – Liliana, age 13
“Voz y Corazón is important to me because it helps prevent suicide and this is where I can be very creative and express myself.” – Paul, age 15
“It was fun and helped build up my confidence.” – Kristel, age 14
“If it was not for this program, I would not be here today.” – Nikki, age 14
“Voz y Corazón is important to me because the class helps me express myself in my own way.” – Grace, age 19
“Art is a way of expressing yourself. You can express yourself with Voz y Corazón. That’s why it’s important.” – Sotelo, age 17
“I liked when we worked with clay and the training – the games at training, talking with my friends and participating in the questions. It made me think a lot.” – Isaac, age 11