Authors: Theresa Wee and Leonie Hillas, VIC
Event: 2006 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Still for living, RECOVERY REHABILITATION PARTICIPATION, psychosocial rehabilitation program
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This paper outlines a project undertaken by residents and staff of a metropolitan psychosocial rehabilitation program. The concept of producing a cookbook was the result of residents expressing a desire to eat healthier foods and prepare nutritious meals and snacks. To address this issue, staff and residents discussed the idea of a project. The project consisted of three distinct parts. The development and construction of two vegetable gardens, the development of recipes that the residents had chosen and adapted to their own tastes, along with learning about safe food preparation and cooking; and finally the selection of recipes to include in the book. The name chosen for the cookbook was ‘From Garden to Table to Book’. The first stage of the project was to construct, plant and maintain a vegetable and herb garden. At this stage, residents, staff and the staff project coordinator visited a number of community gardens to gather ideas and information that could be used in the construction of the gardens. The next stage was to develop recipes and trial them as part of the routine cooking program. The final stages were the designing and printing of the cookbook for the use of residents at the residential program. Evaluation of the project consisted of self reflection comments from participants and observations from staff. There were also self reflection questionnaires at benchmark intervals throughout the project. Participants were also encouraged to keep a photo diary. On completion of this project we learned that residents in psychosocial settings could contribute and participate in their own wellbeing, that they are as interested in what goes into their bodies and that they strive for overall health, not just mental health.