August 21, 2017, marked the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. The passing of the moon between the earth and the sun, cast a shadow on the planet. Starting in the far corner of Oregon, the center line of the eclipse made its way across 12 states and before vanishing from the U.S. in South Carolina. Not everyone across the country viewed a total solar eclipse, but everyone could see at least a partial eclipse.
For residents in mental health treatment, events like the eclipse can be very challenging, such as those with religious delusions can have anxiety about the eclipse is a sign of the end of times, or the changes in the light and rhythm of the day can be difficult for those on the Autism spectrum. To help with some of the challenges, therapist and residents at Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge took part in the eclipse viewing together. Solar eclipse activities are one example of what Social Integration is about – allowing residents to experience real life situations, practice the new skills that they are learning in real time with the support from a therapist at the moment.
Residents and therapists came together for a 2-hour picnic/party that culminated in the majestic sight of that total solar eclipse – just at totality, residents’ joyous hoots and hollers were echoing through the mountains. Afterward, many residents commented to staff about what a great experience it was, how much they enjoyed and appreciated the entire two-hour activity.
Pasadena Villa Network of Psychiatric Services currently offers treatment for adults suffering from severe and persistent mental illness at two residential locations in both Orlando, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, and outpatient services in Raleigh, North Carolina. Call us at 877-845-5235 or complete our contact form for information on the next steps of treatment.