Client art show at BMHC illustrates the need for connection

By Alexandra Moores

With assistance from support staff, including recreation therapy, occupational therapy, social work, and psychometry, the members of the Client Advisory Council at the Brockville Mental Health Centre (BMHC) orchestrated a client-based multimedia art show to exhibit how they coped with various restrictions placed on them by the COVID quarantine procedures. 

Several clients of various functional levels participated in the art show, demonstrating how different minds collaborate during a challenging time. 

Mike, a member of the Client Advisory Council at the Brockville Mental Health Centre stands by his painting
Members of the Client Advisory Council at the Brockville Mental Health Centre hosted an art show to illustrate how they are coping during the pandemic.

The overall theme emphasized a period of self-reflection and connection to others, through a more distant means of communications. 

Vernissage-style snacks were prepared and served by the River Café.  Clients who didn’t contribute art to the show were invited to come to take in the scene as well (while keeping to COVID-related guidelines). 

“The art show was client-centred and client-driven all the way through and I think it was really great how the allied health staff came together to help organize it,” says Natalie Zizzo, an occupational therapist at BMHC who was involved in the art show. “It was a very positive experience.”

“It helped us cope with some of our own issues, the time that we had to spend inside,” says Mike, who contributed three pieces of art to the show. “It’s therapeutic, and it was nice to see some of the people’s work. It was encouraging to see their involvement.”

Alexandra Moores is a Patient Council representative at the Brockville Mental Health Centre.

“The purpose of the art show was to motivate clients to feel better about the restrictions put upon them during COVID-19. It’s not just us that are locked down like this…. I was hoping to get some positive energy out there – send some positive vibes – and remind people there is more to us than our illness.”

- Alexandra Moores