Celebrating the artworks of mental health patients at the MUHC
Last week, artworks created by mental health outpatients were showcased at a special 5 à 7 celebrating the power of artistic expression.
Patients from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), the Jewish General Hospital, and St. Mary’s Hospital put on display artworks created over the last year during workshops hosted by Les Impatients, a local organization that encourages healing in mental health patients through art. These workshops are being held six times per week, bringing patients together for an uplifting time of drawing, painting, and music therapy among other means of creative expression.
The evening included refreshments, creating a warm social atmosphere for patients and their friends and families. Also in attendance were leaders from the MUHC Mental Health Mission and the MGH Foundation, who fund the program for MUHC patients cared for at the MGH.
“The idea is to get the patient in an environment outside the hospital setting so that they can participate in the community and express themselves,” explains Maryse Godin, associate director of Emergency and Mental Health, Professional and Multidisciplinary Services. “Coming together every week has helped our patients make friends and, in some cases, it has led them to life milestones such as finding a new job.”
“We’ve been supporting MUHC’s mental health mission for many years: it is a key mission based at the Montreal General Hospital. We’ve seen the impact of music therapy on mental health patients, and now we are delighted to be supporting art therapy to complement the outstanding expertise of the clinical teams,” says Stephanie Riddell, President and CEO, MGH Foundation.
For years, Les Impatients had been trying to host workshops in the downtown core. However, neither the JGH, St. Mary’s, nor the MUHC had enough patients who were interested in participating. Les Impatients proposed a solution: why not group together all those who are interested across all three hospitals?
“This marks an important first for our organization: it’s the first time that several hospitals have joined forces to be able to offer our workshops to patients. I warmly thank them,” says Frédéric Palardy, executive director of Les Impatients.
Approximately 70 people have benefitted from these workshops already and Maryse hopes to bring these activities and workshops to the Mental Health Mission’s Transitional Day Program, geared for patients who’ve recently gone through a crisis and need to transition from acute care to ambulatory services.
“My hope for the future is that even more patients will want to participate. I see the difference that it makes.”
Thank you to event photographer Denise Barria!
"Les Impatients is a break from the turmoil of illness. A place where participants occupy the place that they desire. Alone in a corner or in the center, exchanging while having a cup of tea.
Judgment is not at the doorstep of les Impatients, only creation presents itself. Timid or confident, your imagination is set free in a splash of paint or the softness of a watercolor.
Cured for a moment or forever, all opt for a brighter future. That's why these workshops are important to me." — Qwerty