Playing to Live is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that seeks to meet the psychosocial and mental health needs of children and communities in low-resource, high trauma communities world wide. We do this through program development, expert mental health consultancy, research & assessments, and advocacy & information sharing of ​best practices. Our Vision is to expand mental health, psychosocial support, & expressive arts therapies programming and research initiatives to children who are facing mental health issues or trauma, no matter where they live.

Summary of relevant work: 

Playing to Live leads in the development and research of therapeutic expressive art programs in communities with limited to no access to mental health professionals. Our team of expressive therapists, counselors, child life specialists, and public health professionals have spent years researching, asking questions, and discovering the most effective, sustainable, and ethical practices in bringing mental health and psychosocial support to children and communities who need it the most. We have built a four pillar approach to help organizations and communities increase their access and build capacity to support mental health and psychosocial needs. The fours pillars are: program development, expert consultation, research & assessment, and advocacy & information sharing.

Established in October 2014, Playing to Live was developed during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa; the primary goal during that time was to provide psychological support services to orphaned children. Very quickly we saw the potential for growth opportunities of this culturally relative and adaptive program, began to build a training program that could be adapted globally to address trauma in low resource settings beyond the Ebola epidemic.  

From 2014-2016, Playing to Live focused on working in Liberia to support the development of psychosocial trainings for community members, implement pilot programs, and implement a full-scale program. In 2016, Playing to Live programming expanded into South Africa where training and a pilot program were completed.  In 2017, Playing to Live focused on a collaborative needs and resource assessment that highlighted the dire mental health needs of adolescent and child refugees residing in Uganda. In 2018, Playing to Live is seeking to continue this work while also looking for opportunities for additional growth opportunities with national and global organizations. We look forward to exploring future collaborations for expansion of services. ​

Asheville, NC, United Stated 28816
PO Box 16683
Seeking collaboration with: 
Other organizations
Experts by experience/service users
Policy makers
United States of America