Recovery through Spirituality and Artistic Expression
Being able to explore and express one’s spiritual and religious beliefs is an important part of the recovery process. That’s why Chaplain Jessica Baker spearheaded the Wall of Hope installation at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building.
She was inspired by patients who wanted to use their artistic talents to bring a message of hope to others and make their new healing environment their own.
The wall has made an impression on patients, staff and visitors. A participant in the adolescent in-patient unit spent time creating a special drawing for the wall, and commented, “The wall is so very inspirational! Each time I see it I gain a little bit more hope.”
Belinda Rogers-King, a member of the Patient Council says that being able to display her quote was empowering for her. “It will open the eyes and hearts of those who are not mentally ill, and give understanding to those who are mentally ill and cannot express what they want and feel.”
The Wall of Hope can be found inside the spiritual care department, beside the Chapel of Hope. It is made of decorative metal wall paneling where people can use magnets to hang inspirational paintings, poetry, quotes and prayers for others to see.
The wall was made possible by generous donors in the community, through St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation’s Health, Hope and Recovery Fund.
Jessica says that every person’s spiritual journey is unique, and an integral part of who they are. Having a living art space where those in the Mental Health Care Building can interact with their spirituality helps to give voice to all that is deeply sacred and meaningful for patients.
“The road to recovery means so much for those with mental health issues. I hope when they see this wall, it will give them the strength and courage they need to make the journey,” says Barb Peters, Chair of the Patient Council, when reflecting on the importance of the wall.