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Creating therapeutic spaces to help patients in their recovery

Engaging the senses to feel better

March 2019

Creating therapeutic spaces to help patients in their recovery

Creating therapeutic spaces to help patients in their recovery

There was a strong focus on engaging the senses and getting up, dressed and moving to feel better at the 18th edition of The Pitch.

With the audience swaying to the gentle twanging of a ukulele played by a young mental health client, Concord Centre for Mental Health staff won over the judges with their idea for an outdoor space with a difference.

Staff and clients from the Centre’s Walker Adolescent Unit took home a cheque for $40,000 to transform an underused courtyard into a “five senses” garden. The garden will create a positive space outdoors for patients, family and staff to engage in therapies, relaxation and recovery.  It will include water features, trampoline, edible gardens, outdoor cooking space, tactile sand pits, trampolines and meditation spaces.

“Evidence shows that having access to sensory spaces and diversional therapies can greatly improve the wellbeing of young people and those with mental health concerns,” Adolescent mental health social worker Nina Mather said.

The judges awarded $10,000 to the District’s Demand Management Unit to support education to kick-start our own #EndPJParalysis campaign.

The #EndPJParalysis campaign is a global phenomenon with more than 500 million impressions on the social media platform Twitter.

In the UK alone, more than one million people have partnered with hospital staff to get out of their night wear and dressed in day clothes during their hospital stay.

“It’s about getting patients up, dressed, moving and feeling better so we can get them home to their loved ones sooner,” #EndPJParalysis project lead and RPA emergency specialist Dr Sinead Ni Bhraonain said.

Also pitching their ideas was Dr Brian Plunkett from RPA’s Cardiothoracic Department and Dr Janette Vardy from the Sydney Survivorship Centre at Concord Hospital.

The next Pitch will be at the Sydney Innovation and Research Symposium on Friday June 28 at the Hyatt Regency, Sydney. To find out how to enter, see

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Page Last Updated: 27 May, 2020