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Holidays fun, therapeutic for BSSH patients

December 24, 2010

Registered therapist Julie Anderson leads patients and employees in song during the annual Big Spring State Hospital Chapel Christmas. (Courtesy photo)

The patients at Big Spring State Hospital this month experienced many of the same traditions and activities that their friends and family shared this holiday season.

And in so doing, hopefully it will help them in their recovery as they work toward returning home.

Patients were treated to Christmas parties, treats of hot chocolate and other goodies, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, music, presents and a re-enactment of the nativity scene.

The activities have a twofold purpose, said Activity Therapies Department Director Josh Preston. Celebrating the holiday is fun, and also, the traditions from their past can give them a sense of security and a sense of warmth that they may be missing during this time of year.

“It’s therapeutic and it gives them a sense of belonging,” Preston said.

As the Archangel, resplendent in her flowing pristine white gown and gold wings first entered the Tollett All-Faith Chapel on the Big Spring State Hospital campus on Tuesday, the close to 60 patients and employees knew this would be a special performance.

The rich red and blue robes that hung from the ever-straight shoulders of the three wise men proudly carrying their gifts to the manger and the simple cloths of the shepherds who came to see the baby Jesus born in the manger never looked better.

“It was just an awesome performance,” said Registered Therapist Julie Anderson, who, along with several others in the ATD department, worked for more than a month recreating the scene and practicing the songs and lines.

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