Man, this update sure has taken forever and I apologize. I thought I would update my friends back home about what I am doing at the Hospital!
So this is my 2nd week at the hospital, and I survived the standard hospital orientation, and now I get the lucky privilege to mentor a coworker and spend days alongside her. When I interviewed for this job I was told that I would be working on an adult unit that dealt with acute psychiatric conditions, which means high turnover rates, and quick discharges. This allows for all different kinds of groups to be had and fun that could ensue. But seniority rules and that unit was taken over by another Recreation Therapist. So I received a new unit assignment, and it definitely made me extremely nervous at first.
I now will be working on an adult Forensic unit. This means higher security, different protocols and precautions and different things to address. All good things, not many bad things, and this is a population that needs some serious help in all factors of mental health. I will be working with adults that have committed crimes in Montana that range from repeat common theft all the way up to murder. (are you scared yet? because I am not!) The groups I have observed and interacted in have made me excited to get to work with this population. Sure we have to improvise certain things, and incorporate new ideas, but that’s the fun!
So with this population, many of them are serving sentences rather than coming in for competency restoration, like I have seen before. And with this, there is a lot of depression, grief and stress. All things that can be helped with a lil TLC and some sunshine and smiles (not really, but i’m gonna try!) The depression and grief can come from their past, crimes that they committed and or the realization that they will be here for a while. Stress can come from not understanding their situations, not understanding the court process and from living in close quarters with some difficult individuals. I’m sure it’s not easy, I get to go home and decompress, these individuals do not get that.
THIS IS WHERE I GET TO COME IN AND HELP OUT A LIL BIT!
On top of taking over the Social Skills, Basic Life Skills, and other educational classes that have already been in place, I get to introduce new ones to the unit. This is my forte, I love being creative, I love learning and I love to help others. (SO FRIENDS WHO WORK IN TR AND MENTAL HEALTH IF YOU HAVE IDEAS I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW THEM)
So far I have come up with two class ideas:
- EXPRESS YOURSELF!: this class dives into emotions that individuals might be feeling and we get to explore those emotions, thoughts and ideas through different mediums. Each month we will explore a new medium, anything from writing/poetry to music, art, and movement and dance. Does this sound fun to you? Because it does to me! In this class we are able to address feelings and emotions towards the past maybe centered around trauma they’ve experience, or their crimes. We will be able to explore their feelings about the future too, maybe how they are feeling about potential discharging to their respective communities or maybe finishing their sentence. This is also an opportunity for individuals to explore new leisure interests in these art forms, which is always something I enjoy being a part of.
- Last but not least: Be Aware- Mindful Meditation: this class we get to explore different life attitudes and thought ideas while relaxing and learning new breathing techniques that can calm the mind, body and soul. I’m not a DBT expert but I do love yoga, breathing and relaxing. In this class we will get to learn breathing techniques that can help reduce stress and anxiety. Essential oils will aid in our journey of mindfulness discovery. And stretching and working the body will give an outlet of physical health and healthy mental spaces. This class will have a lecture and a lab. The lab is the practice of the mindfulness technique, and the lecture we will explore mindfulness techniques like compassion, empathy, etc.
Can you see how excited I am? Maybe just a little bit? Well I am actually bursting at the seams and I am ready to get this show on the road. Just about a week or so more of observations and I get to learn alongside my patients!
all right, last post of the night, last update for a while!
see yall later!
- Hannah Montana 🙂