Each SCENE community improvement project is inspiration to develop programs for enabling services to have improved spaces. Many small organisation have little funding and what funding there is has to be prioritised for staff wages and providing programs. But welcoming, refreshed spaces are important for clients and staff alike.
Residential programs are particularly challenging; being away from familiar surroundings, living with strangers, following new rules and undertaking life changing therapy. Individuals in residential treatment often spend much of their time in the privacy of bedrooms.
If the room is drab it can drain positivity and motivation.
The C.A.R.E program (Custom Aesthetics for Residents Endeavor) was developed after a request for help to brighten rooms for teens-at-risk.
SCENE (parent organisation for Junk Funk) feedback from conversations with the resident youths was rooms need to feel comfortable, comforting & enriching. But each teen had a different idea about what that meant.
Many organisations need assistance of this kind, there's too many services for SCENE to reach. A simple, achievable, affordable self-help guide was needed.
Residents customising rooms is much more than creating a better looking space. For some it may provide a feeling of belonging in a unfamiliar. Purposeful activity can boost confidence and pride.
It may become a bonding experience between client and staff, an opportunity to get to know each other and feel more comfortable about treatment.
For those not in the right frame of mind to decorate, it could be a act of kindness from staff to client. And demonstrate that they've been heard and understood.
How does it work? Decorating each room with every new resident may sound complicated, lengthy and expensive. But it's not.
One wall is the dedicated feature wall and gets repainted (the others are a pre-painted warm neutral). First coat takes about 45 minutes including taping up, the second about 30 minutes. A tin of paint* is approximately $50 dollars. *SCENE's working on paint partners to reduce this cost.
A variety of décor is kept on hand and it wont be hard to find donations.
When treatment is concluded the client takes as much of the décor as they like to decorate their room at home. Standard furniture pieces stay in the room but possibly customised (using RePsyched! workshop and Junk Funk techniques).
*Each person has a colour they love. Looking at it entices a feeling of happiness or calm or some other positive emotion. This is that person's health colour. Waking up to it, sitting in a room with it and seeing it before sleep has therapeutic effects.