A tree has appeared in the lobby of the Carelia building on the Joensuu Campus, and not just any tree, but a Tree of Good Feelings. It reminds us of the importance of well-being, especially during these exceptional times.
“I hope students will get excited about filling the tree with green leaves that have writing on them, each containing something to feel grateful or good about,” says Jaana Valkila, who does marketing for the Joensuu City Theatre and whose idea served as an inspiration for having the tree on campus.
Valkila says she has always dreamt of the theatre audience having an opportunity to tune into the theme of a play already when entering the theatre.
“When I noticed that the set of the 9 hyvää syytä elää (‘9 good reasons to live’) play had trees, I asked in a production meeting a couple of years ago if we could also have trees on the theatre’s 2nd floor foyer. By asking the audience to think about topics of gratitude that could be written on the leaves, they would have an opportunity to tune into the play already beforehand.”
This was done, and more and more green leaves appeared on the bare branches as the theatre season moved forward. Soon, the foyer was filled with gratitude.
As a result of the pandemic, students’ loneliness, isolation, COVID anxiety, and depression have made the headlines.
“Based on the experiences from our play, I began to think if a similar, broader campaign and collaboration could dispel shame and stigmatisation around mental health problems.”
The University of Eastern Finland is one of the partners who joined the campaign and brought a Tree of Good Feelings to the Carelia building’s lobby. According to Director of Administration Tuomo Meriläinen, students’ and staff members’ physical and mental well-being is regarded as a matter of utmost importance at the university.
“The Tree of Good Feelings supports and reminds us of this important issue. It encourages positive thinking. We all should always have in our lives things that make us feel good, or for which we should be grateful to ourselves and to others.”
Last-minute tickets for students
According to Jaana Valkila, the main character and the theme of the 9 hyvää syytä elää play will certainly resonate with a student audience.
“I would like to remind students that last-minute tickets are available to students (7.5 euros, available on the same day only) to this play and to other plays that are part of the theatre’s own production.”
Last-minute tickets to Joensuu City Theatre can be purchased from Carelicum, Koskikatu 5, tel. +358 13 267 5222, carelicum.palvelut(at)joensuu.fi