New leisure hub to accelerate mental health consumers’ recovery

WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy, Health Infrastructure project director Chris Horton, Mental Health executive director Prof Bill Brakoulias, health facility planner Michael Oliver, Redevelopment and Infrastructure director Matt Sydenham, and mental health liaison officer Shai Grigg.

A new leisure and recreation hub will offer a centre for therapeutic activities to aid and support treatment for mental health consumers at Cumberland Hospital.

Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSLHD) Mental Health executive director Bill Brakoulias said the hub, known as the ‘Pavilion’, would provide staff with a new space to conduct social, leisure and exercise sessions.

“Leisure and recreation helps maintain and improve health outcomes,” Bill said.

“This new facility will allow consumers to engage in meaningful activities to benefit both mental and physical health in a safe and supportive space.”

A smoking ceremony symbolising a cleaning of the air to remove any bad spirits and energy was held to celebrate the new building.

WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy, WSLHD staff and carer representatives watched the smoking ceremony performed by Gumeroy Newman and Lisa.

Housing an indoor gym, activities room and outdoor recreational area for consumers, their families and visitors, the new facility provides an area for activities including:

  • Art and craft, cooking, leisure education and counselling
  • Exercise physiology – assessment and activities
  • Occupational therapy
  • Social work

Evidence based research in leisure demonstrates positive outcomes including social cohesion, health behaviour change, improved functioning and symptom reduction.

“Lifestyle interventions complement clinical care and can help to evoke positive behaviour change,” Bill said.

“The Pavilion will provide consumers with the opportunity to take an active and empowering role in their recovery, enhance mind-body connection and help build a positive sense of self.”