Authors: Philip Williams & Chris Lloyd, QLD
Event: 2013 TheMHS Conference
Subject: CLINICAL ISSUES,INNOVATION, QUALITY,RESEARCH & EVALUATION INFORMING PRACTICE, Disaster response, sensory interventions and crisis awareness
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Sensory approaches utilise sensory stimulus as interventions to assist individuals to manage their emotional and functional states. In an acute mental health setting practical sensory interventions such as different touch sensations, listening to music or sitting in a quiet space can have a profound impact on a person’s presentation. Sensory approaches can be utilised by a consumer to self-manage their emotions allowing them to retain a sense of control and independence over their life in an environment that can be otherwise very disempowering. Creating a space which educates and supports individuals to develop these skills requires a whole of ward approach to be effective. In this way sensory approaches are not viewed as a stand alone intervention but as a core skill of all staff. This paper will discuss the process of integrating sensory approaches into the day to day functioning of an acute mental health unit including nursing practices, rehabilitation programs and ward environment. It will also discuss the pragmatic challenges faced in this process. Outcomes of the initial evaluation reviewing the impact of sensory approaches on reducing the levels of seclusion and restraint within the acute mental health ward will be discussed.