For the CAMH patients who participated in a Feel Good Friday program, the salon experience was a great way to feel revitalized. Patients were offered the works, including a wash, cut and blow dry, and full manicure and pedicure. While not everyone opted for the entire package, patients left feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.
Patients were supportive of one another too — some going out of their way to convince their friends to try a manicure or pedicure for the first time, or to help each other select a hairstyle from a magazine.
For one participant, a patient at CAMH for ten years, this was her first experience with Gifts of Light’s Feel Good Friday.
“It empowers you... it gives you freedom, it helps me grow. It’s springtime. Everything is fresh: fresh ideas, a fresh look, it makes you inspired,” said the patient. “[The salon staff] were so friendly, so empowering,” she said. “I had a top-of-the-line hairdresser do my hair. She gave me such a fresh look and good ideas. They’re giving back and giving opportunities to people who can’t afford them. They’re doing an amazing job for society and people in my situation.”
And while she has been involved with a number of CAMH programs and events, she continues to be grateful for the experiences that CAMH brings. “They’re always opening doors to people, to give opportunities to people and better the person,” she added. “CAMH is the best organization in Canada — without them, you can get lost."
Patients don’t go away empty handed. “We supply everyone with a takeaway bag — a little gift bag of hair and nail products as a takeaway for our patients, containing items from the Gifts of Light store which are put together by volunteers prior to the event,” added Quinn Kirby, Program Manager with CAMH’s Gifts of Light program.
Another CAMH patient was eager to share her experience while waiting for her nails to dry. While she’s only been a patient for five months, she felt fortunate for the opportunity to attend and had a great time at the salon.
“I loved it! I got my hair, nails and a pedicure as well. I’ve gone through a super hard time lately, and this is a totally relaxed day. The staff have been very patient — today was my first pedicure, and I’m one of those people who asks 5,000 questions, and she had no problems at all [answering my questions].”
In supporting Gifts of Light, you are helping CAMH patients participate in Feel Good Fridays and enjoy the revitalizing effects of a fresh haircut and manicure.