Wardipedia – 63. Volunteering

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Giving, getting, gaining Introduction Film clubs, funky felting, pampering groups and helping patients with their personal laundry. Volunteers are doing their kind, quirky, community thing in many or probably most wards in the country, whether it’s a church group coming for a weekly prayer meeting or a former patient occasionally acting as an informal advocate. […]

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Wardipedia – 16. Spirituality

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Keeping the faith Introduction The varied and creative examples of how wards meet patients’ spiritual and religious needs (see below) illustrate that this is yet another area where inpatient staff try energetically to make patients’ admissions as meaningful and therapeutic as possible. These efforts are essential for reasons of: Therapeutic outcomes Regulatory compliance Safety Patient […]

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Wardipedia – 64. Money

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Poor no more? Introduction Patients are often very distressed or distracted about money problems. For some people, money problems may be the original source of stress and a key contributing factor in their illness; for others, their illness may make them more likely to worry about finances. The current (2012) prospect of savage cuts to […]

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Wardipedia – 65. Pointless national days

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Happy Pointless National Day! Introduction And what a choice you have. There’s National Donald Duck day, National Chip week (clearly too important to restrict to a single day) and (Jewish) Marion’s favourite –  Hug a Jew day. (She hasn’t yet been able to persuade her therapist that this is the one day of the year […]

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Wardipedia – 15. Sanctuaries

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Rooms that soothe not seclude Introduction Sensory rooms began as comforting and/or stimulating spaces for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities but, happily, are becoming increasingly popular for other patients needing a gentle, calming environment. And now that seclusion rooms are, fortunately, being phased out of most wards, sensory rooms are a much more […]

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Wardipedia – 66. Good news

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Media myth-busting Introduction There’s too much inaccurate, unhelpful and stigma-reinforcing stuff in the media about mentally ill people and not nearly enough about their achievements and those of staff whose skill and commitment contribute to these. The good news is that ward staff can help change public opinion about mental illness and about inpatient care! […]

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Wardipedia – 14. Multi-sensory

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The sense of calm Introduction There’s no lack of sensory stimulation on wards! But often the continuous presence of noise in particular, along with all the other stressors of ward life, makes it important to provide actively therapeutic and calming sensory experiences for patients. Sensory activities are particularly valuable when patients are in a highly […]

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Wardipedia – 67. Ward culture of empathy

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Tea and empathy Introduction Mental health inpatient care is rooted in empathy – the ability to share in another’s emotions. This is the personal quality, and professional skill, that is most cherished by patients (but sometimes difficult to maintain when under intense and sustained pressure). Arguably, all the 77 ideas have empathy at their heart, […]

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Wardipedia – 13. Bingo and jigsaws

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Gentle adventure Introduction Bingo is a much mocked activity – apart from those who enjoy it, for whom it is very rightly a cherished oasis of distraction, excitement and socialising.  It remains a staple of many hospital activity programmes, particularly for older patients, and we’d like to warmly endorse this. Studies of elderly people in […]

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Wardipedia – 68. Talking therapies

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Beyond CBT…. Introduction Talking therapies, psychologically minded staff, mentalising… all as essential as medication on inpatient wards. (And usually without the nasty side-effects often inflicted by medication.) A patient may be  continuing with their pre-hospital therapy or experiencing psychotherapeutic  relief, challenges and changes for the first time. Medication does wonders in knocking some symptoms on […]

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