ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) - Six years ago, staff at the Minnesota Security Hospital decided to start a band and slowly incorporate patients.
“Music is a really great outlet for individuals to express themselves and sort of set aside the stigma of mental illness and be themselves for a little bit,” said Carol Olson, executive director of forensic services at MSH.
As the group kept practicing, they wanted a chance to show off their skills in Gluek Park on the hospital's campus.
"(They) said, ‘let’s do a spin-off of Woodstock and let’s call it Gluekstock,’” Olson said.
Now the band performs every summer for patients and staff alongside other patients, like Mike Caldwell, who aspires to start a performing career of his own.
“I look at it as not only a passion of mine, but also just like a hobby and a way to cope with stress or whatever else is going on,” Caldwell said.
Olson says the concert is one of the most anticipated days of the year on campus, and will serve as a way to form bonds between patients and staff for years to come.
“When you’re seen as a partner, you’re more apt to talk a little bit about the things that you’re struggling with, and be more receptive to ideas on how to manage that," Olson said. "And that’s something that this can help with.”