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Understanding the importance of holistic well-being, self-esteem, dignity, and comfort for those facing mental illness, a group of nine Loyalist College fourth-year Nursing students recently focused their Leadership Capstone Project on revitalizing the clothing closet on the Sills 5 Inpatient Mental Health Unit at Belleville General Hospital.

The clothing closet on Sills 5 has been established for several years, but keeping the closet stocked has been a challenge. The students held a two-week clothing drive at Loyalist College and sorted and washed all donations. Clothing that was suitable for Sills 5 was boxed up for donation, the rest was donated to Three Oaks Foundation.

The students also solicited a large donation of toiletries, hygiene products, and laundry detergent from Belleville’s Proctor & Gamble facility.

Three of the students dropped off the donations on April 4th, and explained that the goal is for Loyalist College to keep the donation program going by having regular donation drives, even after the group of students has graduated.

“I think it’s incredible to see the support of our community college,” said Krista Van Egmond, Patient Services Manager, Sills 5 Mental Health Unit. “It’s been great that we’ve had fourth-year nursing students on the unit really engage in mental health and see the need. Our clothing donation closet is frequently used by patients and they saw that there was a gap in the sustainability of it continuously being refilled. I’m so impressed that they came up with this project and that they’ve been able to support our patients with clothing donations as well as hygiene products. Thank you, Loyalist!”