Collingwood General and Marine Hospital has partnered with South Georgian Bay artists for an Emergency Department safe room project.Focused on creating enhanced therapeutic spaces for mental health patients arriving at CGMH’s emergency department (ED), the safe room mural project was established.

The hospital’s ED houses two safe rooms for patients experiencing a mental health crisis. In an effort to improve the experience for patients using the space, the two rooms have undergone a transformation. Two local artists were selected after a public call out for submissions and each of the rooms has been updated with murals which depict a more calming environment, contributing to feelings of safety and self-regulation.

“I applaud the members of CGMH’s mental health department for implementing this significant project,” says artist Susanna Lamy. “It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of and I hope the resulting murals will bring a level of comfort to CGMH patients.”

“People in trying times look to art to find inspiration, peace, and reflection,” says artist Taylor Wensley. “Thank you to the Giving Circle and CGMH team members who recognize the magic of art and made this important project possible.”

The project was graciously supported by the CGMH Foundations’ Giving Circle, an inclusive group of like-minded women in support of the CGMH Foundation. Their focus is to fund innovative or exceptional needs that are above and beyond the Hospital’s capital budget. The Giving Circle was proud to provide funding for this important project, which will profoundly impact mental health patients at CGMH.

“The needs of mental health patients are specific and may vary depending on diagnosis and reason for a visit to the Emergency Department safe rooms. Patients may arrive at the emergency department in a mental health crisis experiencing self-harming behaviour and/or suicidal ideation, aggressive and/or violent behaviour, and risk of elopement. It is important the physical and therapeutic environment of the safe rooms contributes to feelings of safety and self-regulation,” says Crystal Bell, manager of Mental Health Services, Interim Rehabilitation manager, Spiritual Care and Hemodialysis, who was very pleased with how this project turned out.

SUBMITTED BY: LISA VAN KOLFSCHOTEN, COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, CGMH