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Monday, 13 September 2021

Talking Mental Health Awareness Week with Jupiter Ward

Posted in Blog

With nature the focus for the year’s awareness week, we caught up with Ioanna, a member of the team from Jupiter Ward to find out more about their work and what this week means to them.

 Ioanna Prifti, Activity Worker, Springfield University Hosptial - 11 May, 2021


With nature the focus for the year’s awareness week, we caught up with Ioanna, a member of the team from Jupiter Ward to find out more about their work and what this week means to them.

Tell us a bit about your role at Jupiter Ward, Ioanna?   

I’m the activity worker on Jupiter Ward, which means I co-ordinate and organise therapeutic activities for our service users with the aim of involving, encouraging, motivating and promoting independence and wellbeing. At Jupiter we provide inpatient care for adults who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, schizo-affective disorders and other mental health issues.

What does that involve day-to-day? 

We work really hard to create an interactive timetable of fun activities to empower service users. A lot of this is run by our amazing volunteers and supervised by other members of the team. A regular day on the ward means that our service users get to participate in games such as bingo, arts and crafts, cooking, baking, music and karaoke, current affairs, a movie afternoon and community meetings. Before the pandemic we’d also organise group gardening, walking groups, creative writing classes, exercise therapy and dog visits. We’re looking forward to getting back to some of these activities safely.

How do the Trust support patients to connect with nature?  

Historically we’ve run a really successful gardening project here at Jupiter. We worked really closely with our volunteers to find the best possible ways support and motivate our services users to join a gardening group. It quickly became one of their favourite activities and the feedback was always really positive. It was amazing to see the impact this had in bringing everyone together to create something out of nothing. Some of our services users were monitoring plants growth each day and others were responsible for watering and weeding. 

What’s happening next with Jupiter’s gardening programme?

We haven’t been able to be as active with the project during the pandemic but we’re looking forward to reconnecting with our volunteers and relaunching it again very soon. We also have a partnership with charity ShareGarden who run another community garden here at Springfield Hospital that staff and service users are able to visit.

Why does this week mean to you?  

Mental Health Awareness Week is a really important opportunity for education. The more we know, the more we can offer – to each other and to ourselves. Knowledge also helps us to understand before we judge, and this can have a really positive impact. Low levels of mental health awareness are something we have to take on as a community. All boats rise with the tide and by working together to educate people across South West London, we can make a real difference. 

Do you have a message for people this Mental Health Awareness Week? 

People with mental health issues need love and support just as someone with a physical health issues does. I strongly believe that kindness, compassion and knowledge are the most powerful tools we have to break down stigma and help us learn and grow – an ultimately become better people.