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Mollie Tibbetts fund supports art as a form of therapy for child psychiatry patients

Pictured above: Staff from Scooter's Coffee locations in Cedar Rapids, Mollie Tibbetts' mother Laura Calderwood, and faculty members in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 

Mollie Tibbetts’ family has been committed to upholding her legacy of helping others and her passion for child psychology by working hand-in-hand with Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to support patients and families.

The Mollie Tibbetts Memorial Fund for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was created in 2018 to support a full range of mental health services provided by psychologists, psychiatrists and an array of other professionals to care for children and teens at Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.  Mollie’s mother Laura Calderwood says Mollie was pursuing her dream of becoming a child psychologist at the University of Iowa.

The fund has received many individual donations since it was established in October, and Scooter’s Coffee locations around Cedar Rapids recently donated $6,111 from fundraising on Giving Tuesday. To date, the fund has reached over $67,000.

In honor of Mollie and her family’s interest in art and its ability to play a role in mental health, initial donations have been used to purchase new iPods for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit. Music is regularly used as a form of therapy for young patients, especially in developing resilience in coping with stress.

In gratitude, patients hospitalized on the unit decorated Christmas tree ornaments, with support from hospital recreational therapists, to be given to Mollie’s family.  The department is planning more art therapy projects for teens participating in outpatient care.

As a further focus on art in mental health recovery,  a girl scout Daisy troop from Brooklyn, Iowa, that Mollie helped lead, recently created hand-drawn art to display on the inpatient unit as a tribute to Mollie. The girls also made cards and care packages to share with patients and families.

"We are humbled and grateful for this wonderful involvement of Mollie’s family and all the people who have honored her with their donations,” says Hanna Stevens MD, PhD, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “The young people we care for are directly benefiting from enhanced art in their treatment, and indirectly benefit from the broader, open discussions about the importance of mental health when Mollie is honored in this way.”

Mollie’s family is continuing to look for ways to partner and grow Mollie’s fund. To give to the Mollie Tibbetts Memorial Fund, please visit: givetoiowa.org/mollie.

Thursday, January 10, 2019