How ‘Patiently Made’ Has Brought Us Closer Together

patinetly made

This is my and my daughter’s second year participating in Patiently Made, and we love it.

Patiently Made started last year as a way to have patients, staff and members of the Patient and Family Advisory Council create artwork for the recently renovated east wing of the College Hill Campus. It quickly turned into so much more than that.

It became a therapeutic group of sorts, where parents, kids and their caregivers create artwork together to sell with the ultimate goal of generating awareness for and breaking down the stigma of mental health.

For those of you unfamiliar with the College Hill Campus at Cincinnati Children’s, it’s a place where children and teens that face mental health issues go to get the help they need. It’s played an important role in two of my kids’ lives, because they have struggled with these very things.

My daughter, Kelsie and I truly enjoy being involved with Patiently Made because it has brought us closer together. Kelsie is a teenager so even if she isn’t in the mood to be with “mom”, she always has fun and enjoys the camaraderie of the other kids and parents working together and focusing on a common goal. With supportive staff and the fun photo workshop outings, being a part of Patiently Made has helped her tap into her creative side and build her self-confidence.

Last year as we were making jewelry, she didn’t think anyone would buy the necklaces and bracelets she made. She loved them and thought they were pretty but didn’t believe anybody else would appreciate them. I remember an item she made from yellow and black beads. She thought it would never sell because of the color combination. But we assured her that a Pittsburgh Steelers fan would love it. And a Steelers fan did love it! Being active in Patiently Made has bolstered Kelsie’s self-esteem and she is realizing she has abilities and skills she never knew she had.

An unexpected benefit of working with Patiently Made is that my daughter is learning some basics of the business world, too. She is learning that an interest or a hobby can be shared with others as a business. She is also picking up marketing skills by producing products and packaging them for sale.

My daughter has strong opinions about what was successful for her during her stay in the psychiatric unit at College Hill and knows what would have made her time there even better. So it makes her feel good to know that she is helping to positively impact and improve the lives of kids who are struggling with similar things as she did.

Being part of Patiently Made has also taught my daughter to see the bigger picture. She notices other people and things that can be done to help and support them. Patiently Made has shown her that there are ways to make a difference and volunteering is a wonderful way to put others first.

Not only has Patiently Made brought my daughter and I closer, it has given the rest of the family a reason to rally around Kelsie. Her siblings, and uncles, and grandparents get excited about the yearly art exhibit. They support her and are very proud of her involvement in Patiently Made.

Please plan to join us on May 8 from 6-9 pm to view our artwork and support children and teens who are making a difference for those struggling with mental health issues. It is at the Sharonville Fine Arts Center at 11165 Reading Road in Cincinnati.

Angie Pavelka

About the Author: Angie Pavelka

Angie Pavelka is a hard working mother of four children and a member of the Psychiatric Parent and Patient Advisory Board. She has two kids who struggle with mental health issues. Watching their determination and bravery as they maneuver life has been an inspiration for her. She’s excited to see how this adventure of life plays out for them, and feels none of it would be possible without Cincinnati Children’s psychiatric units.

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