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T H E P AT I E N T S ’ C O U N C I L O F R E G I O N A L M E N T A L H E AL T H C A R E

Volume 1, Issue 4 Spring 2013

The Patients’ Voice

Inside this Issue 2- Positive list making 3- Environmentally friendly cleaning 4- Coping with change 5- Framing the Phoenix event 6- Celebrating meaningful activity 7- Spring wordsearch

Welcome to the Patients’ Voice Newsletter “Miracles happen every day, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.” -Jon Bon Jovi

Recipe of the month: Parmesan Pasta Salad Ingredients:  3 cups cooked pasta of your choice  ½ cup Parmesan cheese  ½ cup Italian salad dressing  ½ red pepper, chopped  ½ red onion, chopped  ½ head of broccoli, chopped  ½ cup black olives, optional

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss gently to mix. Then Serve. Recipe by Kim Clark From the book: “We’re Cook’n!” (London and Region Chapter Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada)


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Positive List Making We are often confronted with negativity in our daily lives. One exercise you might try is to make a list of your accomplishments- i.e. a course you took, a poem you wrote, or a sports game you won; anything you are proud of about yourself. Make your list, then read it over three times and keep that positive feeling. Remember your list when dealing with difficult people or situations. You may also want to have a friend write a list as well, then read them to each other. Plan on adding something to your list and try to stay as calm and happy as you can. From: Life Strategies by Dr. Phil McGraw

By: Stephanie Taylor

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From your Patient Council The Patient Council is looking for members! We encourage both inpatients and outpatients to participate in our activities. As a council member, you have a voice in the hospital and you can vote on important issues at our monthly meetings. The Patient Council currently has openings for board members. Board members are required on our council in order to vote, and are often involved in planning for meetings. Council members are involved in hospital committee meetings, social activities such as coffee days, the patient drop-in center, and speaking at community meetings. The Council also gets involved in activities at RMHC, such as the summer BBQ and the strawberry social. If you would like to get involved, come visit us in room C-148 at RMHCL or call 519455-5110 ext 47064 or ext 49646 in St. Thomas.


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The Patients’ Voice

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Environmentally friendly cleaning

Now that spring is here and we are all trying to clean our living spaces, here are some tips for helping the environment and using less toxic cleaning products: 1. Read the label: Watch for hazardous symbols, and read the ingredients for chemicals 2. Go fragrance- free: A “fragrance” is a mix of chemicals that can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms 3. Avoid Dyes: Dyes are mostly from petrochemicals and are not necessary 4. Make your own: The best way to know what is in your cleaners is to make them yourself 5. Simplify: Choose the smallest number of multi-purpose products that will achieve your household cleaning goals 6. Freshen air naturally: Air Fresheners that are synthetic mask odor with a mysterious mixture. Freshness means proper ventilation- if you can, open a window, or use a fan or air-cleaning machine 7. Forget aerosols: They create fine particles that deposit into the lungs 8. Wash dishes with plain soap: Antibacterial dish soap often contains Triclosan, an ingredient that may interfere with your hormones 9. Look for the logo: Make sure the product is actually environmentally friendly 10. Better brands: Look for books like “Ecoholic Home” by Adria Vasil and other environmentally friendly product lists Provided by: “The David Suzuki Foundation and The O newsletter” .

Belong to Song Do you enjoy music? Do you play an instrument or sing or just like to relax and listen? If so, you may enjoy attending Belong to Song. This is an event for people with lived experience of mental illness and their friends and families. It is put on by the Mental Health Promotions Committee, a network of agencies and people aiming to reduce the stigma of mental illness. It takes place once a week on Thursdays, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, at Old East Studios at 755 Dundas Street (between Lyle and Rectory). They have an electronic drum kit, a piano, an acoustic guitar and a bass guitar – or you can bring your own. Light refreshments are served at no charge.


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The Patients’ Voice

Coping with Change

Change is inevitable. Change, whether good or bad, usually brings with it some discomfort. Fear can also result when there is change, as we are replacing the familiar. Change is endless and constant, so we have to learn from, and be adaptable to it. When change occurs, keep focusing your thoughts on what you can control. You choose how you respond to change. For example, after losing your job, you could sit on your couch eating candy and watching old movies, or you could start a new resume and talk to people you know about career opportunities. If the change is too big and feels overwhelming, seek help. Ten tips for Coping with change: 1. Take a deep breath and take some time to think about the impact of the change realistically 2. Think of the change as an opportunity not a problem 3. Think about the different viewpoints surrounding the change- which do you choose? 4. Think of the long-term. How will this change be thought of a year from now? 5. Be open to change: Ask yourself “What can I learn from this?” 6. Change can be stressful: Ask yourself “What can I control, influence or accept about the situation? 7. Focus on the present moment 8. Trust yourself that everything will work out 9. Improve your ability to respond to change- Stretch yourself in small ways every day 10. Be open to learning and changing yourself Three characteristics of resiliency: Optimism: positive outlook Mobility: physically active Engagement: involved in life (Laurie Maddalena Ten Strategies for dealing with change) (Managing Change unknown author. Website http:/www.managing change.net/ dealing –with-change.html). By: Stephanie Taylor


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FRAMING THE PHOENIX A Mental Health Art Exhibition

Tues April 30 to Sat May 4, 2013 Exhibition Hours: 12 to 5 pm Evening Reception: Tues April 30, 7 to 9 pm Location: The Arts Project, 203 Dundas St, London An initiative of the Mental Health Promotions Committee A network of community agencies, volunteers and consumers, aiming to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.


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Celebrating meaningful activity On Jan 23, patients, staff and council members gathered at the grand opening of RMHC London’s patient drop-in center. The center was created to encourage social interaction and engagement in meaningful activity among patients; which is an important part of the recovery journey. Sandy Whittall, IVP, Mental Health Services thanked St. Joseph’s Foundation who provided the funding for the drop-in centre, which allowed for the purchase of craft supplies, board games, a television and DVD player as well as a WII entertainment system and games. Dollars also went towards a refresh of the existing space, to help make the drop-in center a cozy and inviting environment for patients. New furniture was purchased and professionally designed murals, portraying messages of hope and healing, were hand painted on large wooden canvases to enrich the space. Photos: 1) New furniture and hand painted murals with messages of hope and healing create a cozy, inviting atmosphere in RMHC London’s patient drop-in center. 2) Norm Judges, Chair, RMHC Patients’ Council and Sandy Whittall, IVP, Mental Health Services, cut the cake at the grand opening of RMHCL’s patient drop-in center, flanked by RMHC leaders and members of the patient and family councils who were in attendance for the celebration.


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The Patients’ Voice FORUM THE FAMILY

Spring Wordsearch

Z W I N D Y T O

C C E A S T E R

D R A P R I L Z

H U O C B C J D

S T W P K G P A

April Crops Easter

J Q H M S I S E

W N A I S C A Y L W J U T O M E

Jacket June Kite

B T O K S N R R

May Melt Rain

R A I N E E M J

X N M E L T O P

Storm Thaw Windy


Patients Council Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 4 Spring 2013  

The Patients' Voice

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