The Elephant in the Room - Mental Health | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Lifehouse News

It’s time to start talking about that elephant in the room – mental health. Mental Health Awareness Week is 8-14 October and we’re planning a variety of free activities designed to help cancer patients and their carers cope.

We’ll not only be mentioning the elephant in the room, we’ll be taking her out for a walk!

Living with cancer can have a huge emotional and psychological impact as you adjust to the changes in your body, your social life and the way you navigate the world. Caring for someone with cancer can also have a big toll.

The Lifehouse LivingRoom  provides support services for people affected by cancer, including families and carers. During the week, we’ll be running a packed program of free activities designed to improve mental wellbeing. These include qigong, exercise, reflexology, expert talks, mindfulness, acupuncture, massage, art in health and music therapy.

And we’ve got a special guest joining us in the activities – Hope the Elephant.

The elephant in the room – grief and bereavement
Wednesday 11th 1-2pm – level 2 MDT Room
Losing a loved one can be painful and difficult. Chris O’Brien Lifehouse psych-oncologist Toni Lindsay and spiritual care coordinator Ray Lotty lead this intimate talk for patients and carers on strategies and support for coping with loss.
To get to the MDT room, take the lift to the second floor, turn right and walk past Clinic A, follow the signs to the MDT room.

Strategies to maintain wellness
Friday 13th 9-10am – the LivingRoom Atrium, ground floor
This session for patients and carers is about living well with cancer and maintaining hope and will be led by supportive care and integrative oncology specialist Dr Judith Lacey and clinical psychologist Dr Nunzio Mosca. Dr Lacey will discuss providing a holistic approach to wellness and Dr Mosca will discuss Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.

Daily mindfulness
Monday – Thursday 9-9.20am, Friday 10.10 – 10.30am – the LivingRoom Atrium, ground floor
Mindfulness is a means of self-care for emotional wellbeing. It can help you feel less stress and anxiety and more able to manage your life effectively. Some people feel that it reduces their pain levels too.

LivingRoom open sessions
Tuesday 10th 12 – 3pm and Thursday 12th 1 – 4pm – the LivingRoom, ground floor
Come and try mind-body treatments for the relief of stress and improvement in wellbeing.
LivingRoom sessions are open to all and include reflexology, massage and acupuncture.
Booking is essential. Email or call 8514 0038 to book.

Monday 9th 3-4.30pm – the LivingRoom, ground floor
The physical movements and mental focus of Qigong can produce a sense of calm and tranquillity, and improve strength and flexibility. All are welcome, just turn up.

Workout in the gym
Tuesday 10th and Thursday 12th 9.30 – 10.30am – the LivingRoom, ground floor
Exercise is a good way to improve your mental wellbeing. It can help with anxiety and depression. Come and work out with Hope in the LivingRoom gym.

Arterie Open Studio
Wednesday 11th 12 – 1pm – lower ground atrium
The Arterie program uses art to help ease feelings of stress, isolation and depression that can be associated with cancer and are also experienced by those caring for people affected by cancer.

Lifehouse choir
Thursday 12th 12.15 – 1.30pm – Lifehouse foyer
Singing together can help reduce anxiety, enhance mood and increase feelings of wellbeing. We’re expecting Hope to add a powerful voice to the Lifehouse choir, please join us.

Gentle yoga
Friday 13th 11.45 – 1pm – the LivingRoom, ground floor
Yoga is effective at improving mental wellbeing and reducing anxiety. Come and see just how supple an elephant can be.

Please come and join us and Hope at these open sessions and together we can deal with the elephant in the room.

Booking is required for the LivingRoom Open Sessions on Tuesday and Thursday otherwise you can just turn up to any of the other sessions you want. For bookings email or call 8514 0038.

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