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22 Aug

Activities

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Social, recreational, physical

Wards are now offering patients a rich assortment of individual and group activities, from book clubs to tours of the local football club. These provide patients with not just stimulation but also comfortable social contact, skills and interests’ development, improved self-esteem – and increased safety! The National Audit on Violence cited boredom as one of the six main factors contributing to unsafe wards.

Inpatient activities used to be mainly led by OTs, who make good use of these times with patients to unobtrusively assess patients’ progress, build people’s confidence and motivation and meet other therapeutic objectives. Increasingly OTs are training and supporting ward staff to run groups and other activities themselves and among other benefits, this is crucial for evenings and weekends when OTs generally don’t work. (Interestingly, some Trusts are starting to create more flexible working arrangements with OTs.)

We’ve included a mix of activities which are meaningful and those that are simply good fun. It’s pretty intense one way and another being an inpatient and the opportunity for some hilarity is usually very much appreciated. And talking of appreciation, we’re very grateful to Nicholas McMaster, Sussex Partnership Trust for a fabulous compendium of activities for men.

 

The 11 Activities Ideas:

23. Media. Moving images

‘Mediated’  TV can be a rich source of information, entertainment and interaction.

24. Wii. Wii-habilitation.

We love the stories about older patients hogging the Wii on the ward. Best to get a second one!

25. Jobs. Work in progress.

Supporting patients to make informed choices about paid and voluntary work.

26. Ward newsletter. Making the headlines.

A strong and inspiring editor can get a fab newsletter off the ground and continuing.

27. Books. The great escape

Book clubs, picture books, catching up with reading, finding self-help information.

28. Funnyness. Because wit happens.

Wards are tough places to work, recover and visit. Humour really helps.

29. Food presentation. Pizza pizazz!

The hospitable elegance of the diagonally-cut sandwich, the charm of the cup-cake.

30. Indoor sports. Crazy golf and friends.

Global warming’s deletion of Spring & Summer are no barrier to individual and group exercise.

31. Dance. Move with the groove

Listening to music often spontaneously evolves into a good old boogie.

32. Football. The beautiful game.

Kicking a football around. Makes sense.

33. Men’s stuff. It’s a bloke thing.

Providing that extra motivation to get the chaps active, talking, bonding.

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You might be wondering – what difference does Star Wards actually make to mental health wards? It’s a question we continuously ask ourselves, to make sure that we are having a positive impact. Well, we have over 800 wards signed up to receive our resources and, in the past, we have had Star Wards independently evaluated. A micro-summary of what our users have said is that wards who tried Star Wards ideas had:

This is not about us, it is about people like you. These improvements are down to your hard work. And you can check our newsletters for wards doing amazing things right now. So we are told we do help you make a difference – and we want to get better and be here to help you in the future. So, join up, join in and let us know your wonderful ideas – and if you can donate to us or fundraise for us, we would be delighted to hear from you. You can donate on the website or discuss fundraising by e-mailing here. Thank you for all you do.