High Point’s annual Holiday Decorating contest transformed the facility’s group rooms into display areas brimming with seasonal cheer. Clients’ and staff’s creativity made for a difficult time settling on the winning décor. Each of the rooms combined joy with thoughtful messages in keeping with themes of growth, acceptance and hope that are central to the mental health and substance use treatment provided at High Point.
The spirit of the decorating was generally upbeat, but it did not ignore how the holidays are known to be particularly difficult for people with mental health problems. The counselors and clients did not ignore this but incorporated it in to the event to turn the tide towards a brighter future.
The winning room was the mental health group in the Flower Room. Clients took construction paper and cut out snowflakes and circles that we used in many different ways throughout the room. They also used pipe cleaners they were given and spelled out ‘merry Christmas’ and hung it above the white board.
In the middle of the Flower Room stood a Charlie Brown Tree. The inspiration for this came from the group counselor, Becca Galzara. She said the modest tree crafted from branches captured the idea of resourcefulness and keeping gratitude in mind—”that it’s not so much about what we have, but what we can make of the things that we do.”
One of the clients asked to go outside as a coping skill during the group, and Becca asked him if he’d mind picking up some branches.
In another room, the group rechristened their tree the “Hope Tree.” Ornaments on this tree reflected the clients’ as well as staffs’ goals and dreams for the coming year.
Overall, the clients’ energy really drove the creativity in the room and everyone contributed something of their own.