The holiday season is a difficult time for many; often this time of the year is accompanied by increased stress or depression. It can be even harder when spending the holidays on an inpatient behavioral health unit. At Fairmount, we recognize that our patients struggle at this time of the year so we attempt to make it a bit more festive and fun.
This month, we have several holiday-related activities scheduled for our patients. Beginning the week of December 13th, we have a special coffee and doughnut recreational activity for our adults while our children and adolescents are served Donuts and Hot Cocoa. We also have unit decoration contests line up. The following week’s activities include a performance by an A-cappella Group and various Karaoke activities.
Christmas weekend is highlighted by our annual “Breakfast with Santa” in which all of our child and adolescent patients open tons of gifts donated by the hospital and it’s employees. On Christmas Day, we serve cookie trays to all of the patients and give gift bags.
While we know it’s not the same as being home for the holidays, our staff do a fantastic job helping our patients get through the holidays with a little warmth and cheer.
In efforts to foster a warm atmosphere, holiday spirit and a sense of community, Fairmount held its first Annual Holiday Unit Decorating contest. The contest took place throughout the week of December 12th and was judged on December 16th. The purpose of this event was to foster teamwork and collaboration amongst patients and staff members.
Throughout the week, this collaborative process promoted unification amongst units as well as a friendly competition throughout the hospital. Patients were able to cultivate their creativity while making holiday decor which increased self-esteem, communication, positive reinforcement, and feelings of pride. One patient commented on the process of the contest: “We really came together, despite getting frustrated at times, we worked so hard as a team”. Based on the positive feedback from patients and staff members, Fairmount plans to continue this holiday tradition for years to come.