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TAY Brain advocacy arts apps

What's an UnCon?

The TAY UnConvention is all about Transition Age Youth (TAY). It is a unique and uniting opportunity for providers of services, peer advocates and service recipients to transcend the usual lines and silos of systems, generation gaps and regional differences. Rather than tap national experts and academics, the TAY UnConvention taps the considerable expertise and experiences of dozens of TAY program providers.

This past Spring, Stars Behavioral Health Group partnered with Project Return Peer Support Network (PRPSN) to host the 6th TAY UnConvention. We all had a great time and came up with a number of valuable resources and takeaways. Check out some highlights below.


Many TAY programs and staff have generously shared fun & funky ways to engage and empower youth through expressive arts. Here’s a few:

Have an Open Mic Night

Check out these incredible performances. You’ll be amazed at the courage, talent and mutual support that shows up!

The Painted Brain

Painted Brain

This incredible organization supports all kinds of self-expression – paintings, blogs, photography, even news articles that TAY can write and submit! Visit The Painted Brain

Rhymecology with J. Walker


Ever heard of Healing with Hip-Hop? Rhymecology taps into this powerful medium for self expression and empowerment. Check it out here.

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Congratulations to Sam on being the Outstanding Peer Mentor of the Year!

Peer Mentor Brain Drain


Brain Pyramid

Eddie Nash Foundation

The Eddie Nash Foundation was founded by Bryan "Eddie" Nash, a successful Orange County business man and former youth in foster care. The mission of the Eddie Nash Foundation is to provide programming to support and educate foster youth in conjunction with community involvement.


Peace4Kids's core belief is that all youth deserve hope and possibilities. Committed to serving vulnerable children and youth in foster care, Peace4Kids creatively inspires these youth to discover their unique voice while providing the tools for success. We encourage the health and well-being of the individual by ensuring that they are a valued part of the whole. Simply put, we are Community as Family.

DCFS Teen Club

Teen Club LA is a venue for youth to gain access to Independent Living Program information, socialize with peer mentors, learn skills and gain access to valuable resources.

Storytelling and Videos

Mental Health Channel

It’s a channel like you’d see on cable, but on the web. This is where all TV is headed. We thought we’d get here first. Check this out for inspiring stories about Mental Health.

Derek’s Video

Derek was removed from his mother's care at one-month and put into kinship care. He talks about how he used opportunities and resources to keep away from gangs and drugs, instead gravitating towards a life where he is able to give back to his community. Hear his strory.


Coming Out Proud (COP) / Honest Open Proud (HOP)

Research shows those who have disclosed aspects of their mental illness report a sense of personal empowerment and an increase in confidence to seek and achieve individual goals. HOP is a three-session group program run usually by pairs of trained leaders with lived experiences with the objective of reducing the self-stigma associated with mental illness.


Workshops for Independent Living staff, caseworkers, foster parents and other supportive adults are produced with a youth perspective, covering important topics such as permanence, transition planning and outreach. These trainings help build the skills and confidence in dealing with issues that are so critical to young people in foster care.

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Mind ShiftMindShift is free app for both I-phones & Androids, designed to help teens and young adults cope with anxiety and stress reduction in general. It can help you change how you think about anxiety. Rather than trying to avoid anxiety, you can make an important shift and face it. MindShift will help you learn how to relax, develop more helpful ways of thinking, and identify active steps that will help you take charge of your anxiety. Think of MindShift as your portable coach helping you face challenging situations and take charge of your life. Get it here.

Breath2RelaxBreathe2Relax is free for both I-phone/Android, and can provide an easy and quick deep breathing session that can be personalized with your own visuals of oceans, sunsets, forests, and background music. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body's 'fight-or-flight' (stress) response, and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management. Breathe2Relax can be used as a stand-alone stress reduction tool, or can be used in tandem with clinical care directed by a healthcare worker. Get it here.

Virtual BoxThe Virtual Hope Box (VHB) is a handy tool-kit that offers "coping cards", relaxation, guided meditation, distraction (think Soduku!) and positive thinking. It can be used by patients with behavioral health providers as an accessory to treatment. The VHB contains simple tools to help patients with coping, relaxation, distraction, and positive thinking. Patients and providers can work together to personalize the VHB content on the patient's own smartphone according to the patient's specific needs. The patient can then use the VHB away from clinic, continuing to add or change content as needed. Get it here.

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