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The Heirs of Patch Adams

They're from Caleta Olivia. They follow in the footsteps of Patch Adams, healing through laughter and art. And they edited a book where they tell the experience.

Art and Literature

We are all familiar with  Patch Adams , the film played by the great Robin Williams. The film is based on the real life of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, an American doctor who, in his time as a medical student, began to dream of a cheerful and friendly place where patients could heal. Adams was a different doctor, invented laughter therapy for medical and therapeutic purposes. But he wasn't just a “clown” who made jokes to cheer up his patients. He was convinced that a person's mental and physical health depended on his family, the community and the world around him.

Almost 50 years later,  most hospitals continue to scare us . Although the nurse in the painting who asks for silence is no longer in one of them, they are too serious. Maybe because they're still too white or very gray.

 Kick the board 

However, a group of health professionals and artists from the town of Caleta Olivia, in the province of  Santa Cruz , is willing to kick the board. Nucleates in the GIA Space (Institutional Group of Alcoholism), work on mental health problems with a totally different methodology.  They do it through art . One day they paint a painting, read a story or play a role-playing game. Another, they organize a theater show in the hall of the Zonal Hospital in Caleta Olivia. Yes! For a moment the walls, doctors' offices, waiting rooms change color for function. And, in the best Patagonian Patch Adams style, “Egg” appears, the medical clown of the hospital.

 The benefits of art 

Art favors socialization, creativity and improves self-esteem. Gathering to reading a story may seem like a hobby, but for a lonely person, without a family or with mental health problems, it means something else. A change of life.

 Caleta Olivia's group of health professionals and artists , like the famous Adams, is convinced that art saves people and minds. They recently presented their first book together:  Cuadernos de carabajo del Espacio GIA N°1, Caleta Olivia, Salud Mental, Art y Comunidad  .  One of its authors is  Alejandro De Lisio , coordinator of the   Space  GIA, who says that work notebooks are a manual intended for mental health. This includes anecdotes, storytelling, testimonies, conversations, poems, games and even cooking recipes. Soon they will present their book in Comodoro Rivadavia and Pico Truncado, Santa Cruz, during the month of December. The truth is, Patch Adams would be proud.

Publication Date: 05/12/2019

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