TalkWell Forum launch Birmingham & Solihull

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For all of you tantalised by the account in our latest newsletter of the energetic and imaginative TalkWell developments in Birmingham and Solihull, here’s the latest from Patrick. I apologise for the poverty of my IT skills which don’t extend to including the wonderful photo of the event and fab graphics on the information Patrick sent me, but these can be seen in their full glory in the Members in Action feature.

Thanks again Patrick!



Talkwell is an initiative that was developed through Star Wards for non-registered staff. It focuses on the art of initiating and maintaining therapeutic conversation. In January and February 2010, over 100 staff attended Talkwell Workshops across the Acute Services Programme in the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust.

The workshops were lively affairs and generated lots of ideas for improving therapeutic engagement on our acute inpatient wards. One idea was for the programme to create a regular forum where staff could come together to hear updates, share their experiences and create new ideas. As a result, the Acute Services Programme TalkWell Forum was launched on 15th March 2010. Several staff attended the launch at our Core Activity Centre on Endeavour Court where our guest of honour was Denise Wilson, Executive Director for Quality, Improvement and Patient Experience.

We were pleased to announce the winners of our First Talkwell competition. This project was launched on our Endeavour Units and is entitled ‘This is My Life.’ For this project, service users are helped to develop a scrapbook about their lives in order to help them regain a fuller sense of their individuality and who they are as people rather than just being a ‘service user’. Support and encouragement is provided to individuals to write poems, songs, choose newspaper cuttings, pictures and photos reflecting their own experiences to offer an insight into their lives. The completed scrapbooks are the service users’ property to keep. The books will help them to reflect upon their experiences and lives. They are being regularly updated. We liked this project as it seemed to really grasp the ethos of Talkwell – making people feel really listened to and understood. Well done to Emily, Tracey and Marie who win a special afternoon tea for the Core Activity Centre staff and service users. They were presented with their award by our Inpatient Services Managers Hugh McCreedy and Elaine Murray.

For further details about the Acute Services TalkWell Forum please contact Patrick Cullen, Professional Head of Nursing and Performance, Acute Services Programme, Adults of Working Age Division – [email protected]


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