Wardipedia – 06. Animals

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Furry, fluffy, feathery, finny friends

Pets as therapy, companions, joy-bringers, motivators, exercisers, soothers…. Being with animals is one of the best, and simplest ways of improving hospital experience for everyone, and lots of wards are finding creative ways around the obstacles.

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Wardipedia – 17. Music

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Music. Can you kazoo?

Most people enjoy music. Patients can listen to their favourite music actively or passively, in most emotional states, in most areas of the ward including the garden, alone or sharing it

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Wardipedia – 58. Internet

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Inpatients online

Paying bills, keeping in touch with friends, trying out a new hairstyle, watching politicians make idiots of themselves, listening to Lady Gaga’s new album, learning about our health…. How did we manage before the Internet?!

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Wardipedia – 76. Good night

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Good night

Night-time on wards can be relaxed and satisfying, or deeply fraught and disturbed. Many patients require high levels of care, there are many of the same tasks and challenges as earlier in the day plus many other duties and dilemmas particular to the night. Sleep being the obvious one.

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IMAGINATION

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Imagination – what’s it like for the patient? Addressing 200,000 civil rights campaigners on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King did not say: “I have a strategic initiative.” Imagination is the invisible but powerful engine of ward staff’s empathy, creativity and effectiveness. Staff have to continuously and energetically consider what it’s like for patients. It […]

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Wardipedia – 21. Art

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Art for hearts’ sake Introduction Some patients (and staff) can be turned off or scared off by the ‘A’ word. So sometimes this is about explaining that artisticness can take many forms; it’s not just about painting. Language is important here, too. ‘Creative Expression’ may go down better than ‘Art Therapy’. The key message to […]

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Wardipedia – 25. Jobs

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Work in progress Introduction Having ‘meaningful occupation’ is central to everyone’s identity, sense of purpose and satisfaction with life. An income is a definite bonus, especially at a time when welfare benefits are being beaten up, and paid work is certainly the ambition for most people with or without a mental illness. But the enormous […]

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Wardipedia – 26. Ward newsletter

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Making the headlines Introduction Producing a ward newsletter can feel like a daunting amount of work. But it’s a great way of providing your patients, staff and friends and family with up-to-date information, creating a sense of community, involvement and inclusion and having fun. Newsletters can also be creative, showcasing patient artwork, poetry and short […]

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Wardipedia – 27. Books

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The great escape “There is no friend as loyal as a book” – Ernest Hemingway Introduction Being on an acute ward is a great opportunity to catch up with reading, or embark on what could be a lifetime of reading pleasure. Although many patients, particularly soon after they have been admitted, are too distressed or disoriented […]

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Wardipedia – 28. Funny stuff

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The best therapy Introduction The good thing is that we don’t need to be Lenny Henry or Dawn French, to be able to improve our appreciation of humour. ‘Seeing funny’ can be learned. The key is to practice seeing funny, especially by noticing multiple layers of meaning. As well as noticing and enjoying humour and […]

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You might be wondering – what difference does Star Wards actually make to mental health wards? It’s a question we continuously ask ourselves, to make sure that we are having a positive impact. Well, we have over 800 wards signed up to receive our resources and, in the past, we have had Star Wards independently evaluated. A micro-summary of what our users have said is that wards who tried Star Wards ideas had:

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