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Drum delivery provides happy relief in Mental Health Unit

A delivery of Djembe drums has provided some light rhythmic relief to patients in the Mental Health Acute Inpatient Unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital thanks to Wishlist and the Honda foundation.

The drums have quickly become an important part of group therapy sessions, providing patients with a positive experience both physically and emotionally.

Occupational Therapist for the Unit, Bridgette Milton, said the drums are one of the most effective and engaging interventions for our patients.

“Drumming fosters strong group connectedness and doesn’t require participants to communicate verbally. Instead, it allows for emotional expression in their recovery and healing.

“Our patients have told us that the drumming provides a nice distraction from their worries/anxieties. They’re also appreciative of the opportunity to learn something new during their stay at the hospital. It’s an accomplishment and a way to pass the time.

“For others, with a background in music, it’s a chance to reconnect with something familiar and valued, which is very important during their recovery”, said Ms Milton.

The Mental Health Acute Inpatient Unit also offer other musical instruments as part of the daily group sessions, with a great response.

“The sessions usually result in fantastic large drumming circles which include a sing-along. This creates a strong connectedness as a group, and involves lots of smiles and laughs. 

“Sometimes someone will just suggest we get the drums out, or the drums will make their way out to the courtyard during our weekly BBQ, which is always great fun,” said Ms Milton.

The drums were funded by Wishlist, thanks to the Honda Foundation grants program. The program provided $1483 for the therapeutic drumming program at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Gympie Hospital.