Rosecrance Health Network this year found a way to combine recreational therapy with a heartwarming Valentine’s Day message, and military veterans became the beneficiaries.
Art therapists at Rosecrance’s adult treatment campus in Rockford, Ill., learned of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) annual effort to reach out to VA medical center patients at Valentine’s Day. Rosecrance patients and staff produced 100 handmade greeting cards, many of which were delivered to a nearby VFW post that coordinated their distribution.
The effort carried deep meaning for Rosecrance because of its own established treatment track for veterans with addiction and mental health disorders. Art therapist Jada Miller says some Rosecrance patients participating in the effort were encouraged to talk about the sacrifices of loved ones who had served in the military.
“Projects like Valentines for Veterans give patients an opportunity to show their gratitude for the things in life they may not have thought about during their active addiction,” says Miller. “It gives them a chance to look at the bigger picture in sobriety, while also feeling a sense of pride in helping others.”
Rosecrance staff members say they consider experiential therapies critical in treatment because they give patients a metaphorical opportunity to see their current behaviors and feelings and to explore what might be interfering with the achievement of their future goals.