One Small Step | Men’s Health Week

Every year, on the week leading up to Father’s Day, organisations across the world come together to shine a light on men’s health issues. During 2018 Men’s Health Week has run from Monday 11th until Sunday 17th June, and the theme for this year takes inspiration from Neil Armstrong famous lunar saying;

“One small step for [a] man. One giant leap for mankind”

And the question we now pose to men of all ages is; what’s your small step going to be?

Nick Smith is the Clinical Nurse Coordinator in Highfield Healthcare’s Day Hospital, and he took on the challenge of examining the small steps he takes everyday to take care of his health.

Sleep

For me sleep is a really important aspect of my day to day health.  I need a good pattern of sleep, otherwise I can feel a little lethargic and at times irritable.

I like to think that I have a good bed time routine, aiming to be in bed around the same time each night. As a result find that I wake at a set time each morning too. In the run up to sleeping, I limit my use of electronic devices; phones/watching TV,  for about an hour beforehand. I also try to limit the amount of caffeinated drinks that I consume after 6pm.

Occasionally I have difficulty getting to sleep particularly if the weather is warm or if there is a bit of noise around the house – luckily earplugs tend to sort that out.

Exercise

For me this is a really important part of my life. I like being out in the fresh air as I find it very invigorating, particularly as my job is mainly office-based. I find being outdoors and availing of exercise gives me more energy and reduces stress levels.  I actively participate in walking events and utilize my local leisure centre to swim and use the gym equipment. I also enjoy playing football and cricket, and having the pleasure factor in getting active makes it easier to maintain.

Balanced Diet

I eat much healthier now than I did  in my younger years. I have cut out a lot of the junk food; saturated fats and processed foods, that I would have eaten previously. This change in my diet has made me feel physically healthier and more energized. It’s fair to say that I have lost a little bit of weight and reduced my Cholesterol levels also. I also take a multi vitamin each day to make sure I am not deficient in any basic nutrients.

Keeping In Contact

One area that I need to manage a little better is keeping in touch with family and friends more than I have done in recent times.  As I aim to improve,  I try to set aside time through the course of the week where I speak with family/friends that are not living in Ireland. I think it’s important to be able to talk to others and get support and advice as needed.

Keeping social is also important to me. I enjoy being around people who make me laugh and this most certainly reduces stress levels and boosts my mood.

If you would like to learn more about what small steps you may be able to take to benefit your health, you can visit the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland website, where you will find a wealth of information on the topic.

Aware Support & Self Care Group at Highfield Healthcare

The weekly Aware Support & Self Care Group meets every Wednesday in the group room, Hampstead Day Hospital, Highfield Healthcare at 7:30pm and is open only to clients of Highfield who experience depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions.

Why Attend?

Aware Support & Self Care Groups offer a unique opportunity to talk openly about depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and other mood related conditions and their impact. Peers share their experience and understanding and offer an exchange of thoughts and techniques around self-care and resilience in a supportive, confidential and proactive environment.

Who Can Attend?

Any adult who is experiencing depression bipolar disorder or mood related condition is welcome. No referral is needed, although if attending a doctor or therapist, Aware recommends that you keep them informed.

Highfield Healthcare staff and management welcome Support Group Facilitators Sharon, Joanne, Dáire and Kieron.

What To Expect?
When you arrive at an Aware Support & Self Care Group, you are greeted by two Aware volunteer facilitators who provide you with literature about Aware services.

The facilitators open the meeting providing an overview of what you can expect, outlining the group rules including confidentiality* and explaining the purpose of the Aware Support Group. Facilitators introduce themselves by their first name only and invite all attending to do likewise. The meeting is declared open to anyone who would like to share.

Someone in the group shares their thoughts and feelings. To gain understanding for the group, a facilitator may ask some questions to clarify what has been shared.

The facilitator asks the person sharing if they want feedback from the group and if so, opens to the group for their thoughts and support. A facilitator briefly summarises any options offered by the group before allowing the space for others to share.

A proactive approach is used throughout the Support Group meeting in which participants can express emotion, acknowledge feelings, question thoughts and beliefs and focus particularly on helpful actions they can take.

*Confidentiality within normal limits

For more information on Aware services, please visit www.aware.ie.

Love Notes, Snowfalls & World Thinking Day

Let’s look back at what we got up to here at Highfield Healthcare during the month of February.

 

Kildare FM

Dr Miriam Kennedy took to the airwaves once more, joining Ciara Plunkett the Kildare Focus show on Kfm Radio Kildare on the 5th of February. The pair spoke about the power in talking about mental illness and finding the language to communicate through difficult times.

In another captivating conversation, Dr Miriam drew on the words of the late poet Seamus Heaney, to explain the power in talking about mental illness and finding the language needed to help break through mental health issues.

You can listen back to their discussion on the Kildare FM Soundlcloud.

Valentine’s Surprise

In the lead up to Valentines Day, the pupils of Holy Child Boys’ National School in Whitehall, have used their art classes to work on a special project. The idea came from a teacher within the school, who also happens to volunteer her time here at Highfield Healthcare.

Getting to know the residents across our Care Of The Elderly services, she decided to get her pupils involved in a special project to add a little extra joy to their day, on the 14th of February. The colourful creations were made especially for the elderly residents of Highfield Healthcare, to spread a little love on the 14th of February.

 World Thinking Day

World Thinking Day fell on the 22nd of February. It was the perfect opportunity to put together a little video on the workings of the mind.
The brain is a powerful tool we can all learn to use to our advantage.

World Thinking Day 2018 | Highfield Healthcare

Some food for thought this #WorldThinkingDay ?The brain is a powerful tool we can all learn to use to our advantage.#HighfieldHealthcare #MentalHealthMatters #ItsOKNottoFeelOK

Posted by Highfield Healthcare on Thursday, February 22, 2018

Snow in Spring

Like much of the country, Highfield Healthcare was visited by the Beast From The East and Storm Emma in late February.

Their stay lasted into the first days of March of course, and being located in the red warning zone are grounds were transformed by a thick blanket of springtime snow.

Thanks to our amazing staff and the provisions made by management the majority of our services were able to continue uninterrupted.

Highfield Healthcare’s CEO shared the following message in thanks to the staff after five days of extraordinary circumstances;

 I really felt we came together as colleagues and friends and went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we had a safe place for all under our care.

My residing thought coming out of the last few days is that we have wonderful individuals working in Highfield and it was amazing how everyone pulled together

with a common goal, as our mission statement reads, in the care of friends.”

 

A Very Special Valentine’s Day Delivery

 

 

For the past few weeks the pupils of Holy Child Boys’ National School in Whitehall, have used their art classes to work on some very special Valentine’s Day cards. These colourful creations were made especially for the elderly residents of Highfield Healthcare, to spread a little love this St. Valentine’s Day.

The idea came from a teacher within the school, who also happens to volunteer her time here at Highfield Healthcare. Getting to know the residents across our Care Of The Elderly services, she decided to get her pupils involved in a special project to add a little extra joy to their day, this 14th of February.

It’s safe to say that our residents were absolutely delighted to receive the thoughtful messages from the boys, when they were delivered. A big thank you to the boys!

  

 

New Menu, Blue Monday & Winnie the Pooh Day

Let’s take a little look back at what happened here at Highfield Healthcare in the first 31 days of 2018.

Tasty Toasties

This month we introduced a delicious selection of toasted sandwiches to the menu at our Cafe.

Choose from fillings like ham, chicken, tuna, onion, stuffing and sweetcorn, on either brown or white sliced bread for one of our Tasty Toasties€2.60.

Or maybe you would like something a little special, like one of our Gourmet Toasted Sandwiches€3.00. You can choose from any of the filling options on tempting sourdough, rye or corn bread, and perhaps add some Ballymaloe relish or basil pesto.

Blue Monday

Highfield Healthcare’s Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Miriam Kennedy joined Pat Kenny on his Newstalk morning morning show to discuss the controversial topic.

‘Blue Monday’ is a term first coined by a British travel company in 2005. Since then the third Monday of every January has been labelled as the most depressing day of the year.

The idea was invented as a marketing ploy to encourage people to book holidays, as a way to escape the January blues – but there is no science to back it up.

Listen back to Pat and Dr Miriam now…

Winnie The Pooh Day

Did you know that the 18th of January each year is dedicated to celebrating the fictional character Winnie the Pooh?

Falling on the birthday of  author A.A. Milne, the imaginary teddy bear’s creator, #WinnieThePoohDay is the perfect opportunity to relive the childhood classic.

There are a lot of wonderful messages throughout Milne’s stories of Pooh and friends, like the one below.

It's #WinnieThePoohDay ? Author A.A. Milne gave to world so many beautiful stories, with powerful messages.#HighfieldHealthcare #MentalHealthAwareness #SelfBelief #CommunityOfCare #WinnieThePooh #Friendship

Posted by Highfield Healthcare on Thursday, January 18, 2018

 

And that was January!

 

Blue Monday Is A Myth, Mental Illness Isn’t

‘Blue Monday’ is a term first coined by a British travel company in 2005. Since then the third Monday of every January has been labelled as the most depressing day of the year.

The idea was invented as a marketing ploy to encourage people to book holidays, as a way to escape the January blues – but there is no science to back it up.

“What is important, is not to trivialize depression.”

Highfield Healthcare’s Consultant Psychiatrist Miriam Kennedy joined Pat Kenny on his Newstalk programme on the Monday 15th of January; 2018’s ‘Blue Monday’.

Listen back to their discussion of the ‘Blue Monday’ myth, mental illness in Ireland and the importance of looking after your mental health.

mental health blue monday

If you would like to learn more about Highfield Healthcare’s supports for those dealing with mental illness, below you will find a video explaining our newest Day Hospital service.

Forest Therapy at Highfield Healthcare

One of the great things about the campus here at Highfield Healthcare are the beautiful grounds. You might be surprised to hear that the wonderfully tended flora surrounding our building are in use for Forest Therapy with some of our service-users.

Forest Therapy falls under the umbrella of Ecotherapy, which is an evidence based intervention in mental health; the practice of spending time in forested areas to enhance health, wellness, and happiness.

Continue reading “Forest Therapy at Highfield Healthcare”

Nursing Homes Week 2017

As proud members of the Nursing Homes Ireland community, Highfield Healthcare was delighted to celebrate National Nursing Homes Week from the 29th May to the 5th June 2017.

It was a week full to the brim with events and activities for residents, family members and Highfield Healthcare staff alike.

A huge thank you goes out to all those who helped to organise and participated in a joyful seven days promoting and celebrating happy and healthy nursing home life.

We hope you enjoy looking back on the events of the week in the photographs below.

Continue reading “Nursing Homes Week 2017”

Green Ribbon Campaign 2017 #TimeToTalk

Here at Highfield Healthcare we were delighted to get involved with the month long national Green Ribbon Campaign to get people talking openly about mental health problems in May 2017. As providers of acute and specialist mental health in Dublin since 1825, we fully support the mission to end the stigma that remains around mental health issues in Ireland.

 

Our launch was held on the 19th of May, National #TimeToTalk day, where our Clinical Director Andrew Eustace spoke of the ways we can all improve and maintain our mental health. Dr. Andrew emphasized the importance of relationships with friends and keeping physically active in tackling life’s daily stresses.

 

Continue reading “Green Ribbon Campaign 2017 #TimeToTalk”