November 30, 2016 7:14 pm

Lethbridge art program helps people with disabilities and chronic pain: ‘You’re not in this alone’

WATCH ABOVE: The Galt Museum in Lethbridge is seeing success in an adult and senior program, focusing on teaching history through art for people with a chronic illness or disability.

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The Galt Museum and Archives in Lethbridge and Alberta Health Services have teamed up to host therapeutic day workshops for adults with chronic pain and disabilities.

The focus of the daytime Galt workshop program is for people to learn about local history through art.

The program was shortlisted for the Governor General’s History Award for the Excellence in Museums. Galt and AHS representatives attended the awards ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 28.

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“I think participating in art is a chance to increase wellness. It makes you feel good. We really work hard to make sure there is support available so all participants can feel success,” Janae Redgrave, community program coordinator with Galt Museum and Archives, said.

READ MORE: WWI mystery solved in Lethbridge: ‘I saw the uniform, never knowing it was a part of me’

Jill Burnell suffers from chronic pain, and doctors don’t know what causes it. She came to the workshops to find support.

“There’s a lot of people going through all kinds of things here. (They don’t) necessarily identify with what I’m going through,” Burnell said. “The thing you realize is there’s other people out there, you’re not in this alone.”

The program started two years ago, with about 20 participants. It’s since tripled in size, and is expected to continue to grow. Support workers say it gives their clients something to look forward to.

READ MORE: Black History Month event at Galt Museum

Burnell hopes more will join them and learn the benefits for themselves.

“It’s something positive to do, it gets your mind away from the pain.”

There’s currently an exhibit at the Galt Museum highlighting the success and creativity of the workshops.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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