Expressive Arts Therapy Program

The Cause

Foothills Country Hospice offers a serene country setting where residents and their loved ones receive exemplary end of life and bereavement care. Since opening its doors in January 2008, Foothills Country Hospice has provided expert care and bereavement support to more than 1,300 residents and grieving community members, serving a rural population of 90,000 Albertans in addition to the citizens of Calgary.

Mission: Embracing quality in living, compassion in death, and support in bereavement to the Foothills community.
Vision: Reaching beyond our walls to help one another through the end of life's journey

Foothills Country Hospice is seeking funds to facilitate our Expressive Arts Therapy program. This program will provide monthly opportunities for people experiencing grief to socialize, connect, and share with others through a variety of therapeutic and creative events and workshops aimed at helping participants process and work through their own grief journeys. Expressive arts is a way of supporting people to express, understand and discover while using experiential mediums such as paint, writing, drawing, photography, movement, music, crafting etc. Examples of Expressive Art Therapy mediums that we plan to incorporate in our programming include paint workshops, drumming circles, music therapy, creation of healing stones, yoga & meditation and culinary classes.

Foothills Country Hospice strives to continuously provide expert care that best fits the unique needs of each resident and family. By offering Expressive Arts programming, we can provide a creative outlet for bereaved loved ones and community members that will help to reduce stress and anxiety associated with grief and improve their social and emotional well-being as they build connections with others on similar journeys.

Expressive arts has been thoroughly researched and found to be supportive for many different challenges and difficulties, including grief and loss. Evidence based research supports the use of and benefit from expressive arts therapies for coping with grief as it provides an opportunity to engage grieving family members who may find solace in a creative and social outlet, offering a respite from the heaviness of the familial situation they are currently facing (Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy: A Review of the Literature. Liza M. Hinchey 2018, Vol. 10 No. 05 | pg. 1/1 Inquiries Journal, The International Student Journal).

Who Will it Benefit?

Those that will benefit from the program include bereaved individuals (ages 18+) from all walks of life in Okotoks, High River, Foothills County and surrounding rural communities. Program space will be open to anyone who has experienced a loss, including families directly accessing hospice services, in addition to grieving community members.