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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Mural Arts / Porch Light Program

The DBHIDS Porch Light program, a joint collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia, focuses on achieving universal health and wellness among Philadelphians, especially those dealing with mental health issues or trauma. We do this by providing opportunities to contribute to meaningful works of public art.

Porch Light projects are driven by issues that have tangible effects on local communities, such as mental health, substance use, spirituality, homelessness, trauma, immigration, war, and neighborhood safety. The program helps to create murals that focus specifically on mental health and substance use, as well as other issues that affect our mental health.

The program strives to:

  • create positive changes in the community,
  • improve the physical environment,
  • create opportunities for social connectedness,
  • develop skills to enhance resilience and recovery,
  • promote community and social inclusion,
  • shed light on challenges faced by those with behavioral health issues,
  • reduce stigma,
  • and encourage empathy.

The Porch Light Program Replication Manual provides an overview of the program model and its implementation. The manual describes the program’s rationale, phases of implementation, and the participation of various community stakeholders in the cocreation of public murals.

Exploring the Program’s Murals

The virtual Porch Light Mural Tour works to share the Porch Light murals and the stories behind them with a broader online audience. The tour provides information about each mural, its theme, and artist(s). It also features an interactive map to show where in Philadelphia the murals are displayed.

Assessing the Program

The Yale School of Medicine conducted community-based participatory research in three Porch Light communities to assess the program’s impact on individual and community-level health outcomes. The rigorous evaluation design included a process evaluation including the careful tracking of program activities as well as a longitudinal outcome evaluation including individual interviews, qualitative case studies, community surveys, systematic observations, comparison sites, and archival data.

To learn more, download the full Yale University Porch Light Program Report.

Last modified: Nov 21, 2023 @ 2:42 pm