NEW ULM, Minn. (KEYC) — Inside the walls of the Mental Health and Addiction Services Unit is a community on a path to improving their mental health.
To help give patients the resources to achieve a healthy mind and body, the New Ulm Medical Center used funds from the 2018 employee and physician giving campaign to revamp the unit’s ‘Calm Room.’
“It’s in the locked area of the mental health unit and you would think that there’s a lot of scary patients back there, but they’re all so inviting – such beautiful people and they really invite you into their space, which it is their space,” Abby Hietala said.
The ‘Calm Room’ used to be called the ‘Seclusion Room', but the rebranding puts a positive spin on the space and allows patients important time to escape from external frustrations and focus on themselves.
When the time came to follow the name change with a makeover, the search for an artist began.
“We came up with a local high school student Abby Hietala she’s got just this courageous background, she understands relaxation,” New Ulm Foundation Director Missy Dreckman said.
Abby has been painting for years, preparing for an opportunity like this.
“With the mural, I sent a few reference photos to the director and just really calming photos of nature. I ended up coming up with some mountains, trees and a lake which are always a really calming image for me whenever I want to calm down or sort of meditate,” Hietala said.
The ‘Calm Room’s’ mural has been in use for a couple of weeks now.
“We’ve seen a lot of great responses with patients just knowing that they have a space place to go where they can take a deep breath and kind of gather themselves and move on with their day,” New Ulm Hospital R.N. Madeline Ibberson said.
And responses like that bring everyone that much closer to an improved mental state.