On Wednesday, August 21, young patients at Our Lady of Lourdes Women's & Children's Hospital got creative thanks to the The Beads of Courage program.
The program, which has been taking place at the hospital for several years, provides "innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families, and the health care providers who care for them."
Beads of Courage was created by a nurse who "saw that a sticker wasn't enough" for young patients and decided to integrate the arts as a form of therapy.
The program boasts more than 60,000 children making art with beads, allowing them to record, tell, and own their stories "using beads as meaningful symbols of courage and hope."
The program's website says that the arts program helps to decrease distress and help kids find meaning. It also helps to restore a sense of self and provides something meaningful for kids to use to tell about their experience.
Over 240 hospitals in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan use the program in hospitals.
The program partners with three hospitals in Louisiana: Children's Hospital of New Orleans, Oschner Hospital for Children, and Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital of Lafayette.
With beads, string and a color guide, young patients fighting serious illnesses were able to build individual necklaces representing their own treatment journey at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital.