A new therapy garden is helping to brighten the recovery of patients within St Joseph's Hospital’s Aged Care Psychiatry and Neurosciences Unit.
TODAY is World Mental Health Day and the mental health team at St Joseph's Hospital at Auburn, is urging people to connect with others around them.
Speaking during Mental Health Week (October 9-15), St Jospeh's Aged Care Psychiatry nursing unit manager Vicki Ward said people had many demands on their attention and time, and more people are experiencing loneliness in Australia than ever before.
"For those experiencing or living with mental illness, loneliness can be far worse as individuals can face social exclusion, stigma and discrimination," she said.
"Research tells us that feeling connected, valued and loved by others gives us a sense of security, support, purpose and happiness."
"Connecting with others is important for our health and survival."
Ms Ward said patients aged over 65 years with mental illness or mental disorders staying at St Joseph's 15-bed gazetted Aged Care Psychiatry and Neurosciences Unit (ACP&NU), benefit from a range of socialisation activities including a new therapy garden, weekly bus excursions and monthly barbecue lunches.
"By providing a range of activities on the ward we facilitate the patient's socialisation with each other and the staff," she said.
"Staff on the unit work closely with patients, their families and carers to optimise the patient's independence and maintain him or her in their own environment.
"If you have any concerns about your mental health or the mental health of a family member or friend, please call the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511, or (Triple Zero) 000 in an emergency."