Patients find peace of mind through nature and helping others

Patients and volunteers build table

It took two weeks to create this beautiful table top mosaic of a goanna. Pictured here are mosaic master creators (From left) Erin Featherstone, Frida Forsberg, Abbey Saul and Lynda Love.

A group of community-minded patients and volunteers has made a significant difference to mental health services and care being delivered at Caboolture Hospital’s Mental Health Facility.The group, who are made up of approximately 15 current and past patients of the Mental Health Service, have beautified and recreated an existing outdoor garden and waiting area for patients and families.

Caboolture Hospital Mental Health Facility Director Monica O’Neill said the new outdoor garden area was a relaxed, quiet and peaceful area for patients, family and staff to enjoy when they attend for appointments.

“The plants that have been used in the tropical garden were propagated from cuttings and nurtured to maturity by the patients and volunteers,” she said.

“The volunteers also sourced a range of building and garden materials and equipment from the local community to make the most of the new garden area.”

The new outdoor garden area, which is behind Mental Health Ward 1, includes new seating areas, gardens beds, fencing, and tropical and veggie gardens.

“There is also a solar powered water feature and a table with mosaic feature that was designed and made by the consumers,” Monica said.

The project not only beautified the area but also gave all the project participants an opportunity to be more active in the community and develop new skills.

Local resident Phil, who has been involved in the project since it began, said working on the garden project helped him to meet new friends and encouraged him to get out and about in his local community as it gave him a reason to get out of the house.

One of the participants, Michael, said it helped with his motivation and skills for paid work in the future. Another participant, John, said it gave him more confidence.

David Ashmore, a social worker and clinician involved in the project said the garden had given participants a real sense of achievement and the community work has contributed positively to their own well-being and recovery.

The project team met each Wednesday morning to progress the build of the new outdoor area over a 12 month period.

The Caboolture Hospital Auxiliary also provided $1,500 to fund the project and the purchase of the key features of the outdoor area.

Additional materials for the garden were also donated by local businesses including Masters, Tile Connect and Beaumont Tiles at Caboolture and Why Not Tiles at Morayfield.

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