Bryn Mawr Care is a long-term care facility in Chicago that houses stable psychiatric patients who have been referred there by their psychiatrists or by court mandate. It also serves as one of the clinical sites for NR-320 Mental Health Nursing.
At any given time, there are approximately 170 patients in residency at Bryn Mawr Care. Most of the patients have become disenfranchised from their families and survive on an average income of $30 per month, which is the amount awarded to them after their medical benefits (SSI, Medicare, Medicaid etc.) are allotted to the facility for room and board.
Chamberlain students recognized that there was a lack of resources available to assist the patients with personal grooming, hygiene and self-esteem building activities. As the student group leadership project, and in conjunction with the activities department, the students decided to conduct a clothing and toiletry drive.
The charity drive tied in to the existing point system at Bryn Mawr, whereby patients are able to purchase personal items with points earned by complying with their treatment program. The purpose is to assist the patients in building their self-esteem and confidence by being able to obtain tangible rewards for compliant behavior as well as improve their personal appearance.
In addition to donating items from their own homes and those collected on campus, the students have also pledged to continue the project by establishing collection sites on campus and providing information to, and soliciting donations from, their classmates in the future. Subsequent rotations of students will be encouraged to collect the donations and deliver them to Bryn Mawr during their mental health rotations. Assistant Professor Steven Mitchell Sampson also hopes to extend this project to other clinical sites where feasible.
By Danielle Logacho
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