Dave Leon

Dave Leon

Lecturer in Social Welfare


MSW in Social Welfare, University of Southern California

Areas of Interest:



Dave Leon, LCSW, graduated from USC School of Social Work in 2003, and began his social work career at Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center with a focus on the dirth in social opportunities for people with mental illness, especially young adults. After five years in this position, he worked at UCLA’s Counseling and Psychological Services for four years and close to 10,000 hours in counseling college and graduate students.  An art group he started at Didi Hirsh turned into an art magazine and then a social movement for people living with mental illness, providing a community and a platform from which to speak up about mental health through the arts. Painted Brain is a 501c3 nonprofit that offers a free community arts center in the Pico Robertson area, a thriving tech company and social enterprise, and an art group service operating in dozens of local housing and mental health facilities. Painted Brain is, at its core, an expression of social work principles.