Mental Health Awareness

SAMARITAN MEDICAL CENTER PATIENTS, STAFF CREATE KINDNESS ROCKS TO BUILD AWARENESS OF ADDICTION, MENTAL HEALTH

Watertown, New York ----- Patients and staff from Samaritan Medical Center’s Inpatient Mental Health Unit are enjoying a new type of therapy. Taking an idea from the kindness rock craze on social media, Valerie LaClair from Samaritan’s Inpatient Mental Health Unit proposed the idea, and it took off.

“We adopted the kindness rock idea for our expressive therapy group,” explain Ms. LaClair. “It’s a fun activity that connects our patients to the cause and encourages those with depression who may find the rocks. It’s definitely therapeutic for patients, as well as for staff.”

Each rock contains various messages and drawings and is placed throughout the grounds of the hospital. They also include the hashtag #samaritanrocks to encourage photos and sharing on social media.

“There is such a stigma associated with mental health and addiction,” explains Tina O’Neil, Director of Mental Health at Samaritan. “It’s important to build awareness, educate and let the community know that we have services to help in times of need.”

Because it’s been so successful, Samaritan plans to expand this project into its outpatient mental health and addiction clinics.

“We know it’s working,” concludes Ms. LaClair. “After the first time we did this, we had a patient tell us that she found one of our rocks and it gave her hope. She sought help and was admitted for treatment.”

samaritanrocks

A heart-shaped arrangement of rocks created by the staff and patients of Samaritan’s mental health and addiction services. #samaritanrocks