Mothers at Eastbourne Clinic Peri-natal Mental Health Unit had an enjoyable time this week in the company of Alice Harland, Occupational Therapy Student. Cakes a plenty were made amid laughter and fun. Others in the clinic, myself included, had to suffer the tantalising aroma of cakes baking throughout the morning. Investigating the source of the aroma and the frivolity, I was amply rewarded with smiles and a delicious cup cake.
The benefits of engaging in occupational therapy through activities like this cannot be underestimated. For mothers with Post-Natal illness, or indeed anyone with mental health difficulties, time spent in the kitchen baking with another person offers an opportunity to engage in conversation and meaningful activity. It can help enormously in increasing self-esteem and self-worth.
As on this occasion, given the freedom of choice regarding selecting what to bake and how much input they are able to give, can be really empowering. As a group, our mothers supported each other, sharing and caring.The end result was a successful outcome which went beyond the baking itself, as they were able to offer staff and relatives the lovingly made cup cakes and feel justifiably proud of their achievement.
Until next time, Steve Clifford, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist