Are (some) people staying on the inpatient unit able to leave accompanied by staff? Any activity which subjects them to our good friend Mr Sun is worthwhile. The vitamin D, as we all know, can benefit people hugely.
1. A walk around the park, allowing people to stop for a cigarette, watch the ducks/water/tree branches swinging, sit down and meditate, breathe in fresh air etc. If you have access to the ocean is even better.
2. People who can't leave the ward: Can you approach management for a raised garden bed in the courtyard? People can potter in the garden, plant, care for and harvest veges etc.
3. Education: The intelligence and ability of people on the inpatient unit is often overlooked. Some education sessions, particularly by guest speakers, can inspire and renew interest in pursuing career/educational goals.
4. Ownership. Often people who are on the inpatient unit have experienced a lot of losses (loss of friends/family/job/confidence/skills/children... the list goes on) and they often feel genuine despair and a feeling of 'What have I got to offer?'. Talk with the people on the unit and you may be surprised to find skills and talents they may be able to share with other people. Even if it's co-faciliatating with you so they don't feel overwhelmed. Find strengths from people staying on the unit and ask if they would be happy to share their knowledge about a particular skill or interest. They may be happy to give a talk to other people or they may just want to tell you to pass it on on their behalf. Give them feedback afterwards if this is the case.
I know we all know this, but people staying on the inpatient unit have lives outside which include interests, passions, jobs, careers, education, knowledge... Let's not forget these just because they need acute care for a while.