Community Meetings at Skyland Trail
September 18, 2014
Community Meetings are held every Wednesday for both clients and staff to attend. This client-led meeting is an opportunity for the Skyland Trail community to come together and recognize individuals’ steps in recovery.
“Each week at our community meeting, we have a chance for everyone to come together to recognize progress and important events, to confront challenges, to welcome new community members and to celebrate those who are graduating from the program and moving forward in life,” Chris Cline, VP of clinical services remarks. “Within our community, I think this meeting is one of the most special hours during the week. People build very strong relationships working alongside each other and it is such a phenomenal opportunity to take an hour each week to reflect on how those relationships are developing and to build those relationships. “
During the meeting, clients receive awards and recognition for their positive steps in recovery, including Working Hard in Treatment, Integrating and Getting Involved in the Skyland Trail community, Transitioning to a Skyland Trail Program, Positive Steps in Recovery & Sobriety and Healthy Living. Clients who are graduating from the program are applauded and celebrated individually and have the opportunity to hear their peers bid them farewell. The graduate also gets a chance to reflect on his or her experience and say a few words to the Skyland Trail community. These words of encouragement can be very powerful and inspiring to other clients who may have just admitted or who are having a hard week.
The Humanitarian Award also is presented at community meeting. The winner of the Humanitarian Award from the previous week chooses and announces a new humanitarian, someone who has gone above and beyond to help others and make a positive impact on the community. A recent humanitarian said, “Receiving the Humanitarian award is a recognition that even as I struggle, I may just have something to offer the community. It is quite an honor.”
Clients also have an opportunity to express themselves through our “musical moment” at community meeting. Clients sing or play a musical instrument for their peers. For many clients, music therapy is an integral part of their recovery and sharing their talent with their peers builds confidence and self-esteem. The performances always receive applause and cheers.
At the end of the meeting, clients and staff can thank someone who helped the personally or who contributed to the community more broadly through “shout outs” and expressions of gratitude.
“During the meeting, people who succeeded in working through a challenging time can remind those who are in the throes of hard work, that recovery happens,” Cline continues. “Persistence, trust and engagement in the community help us all continue to improve and we are reminded of this at every community meeting. The meeting inspires each of us to keep working through the difficult times.”