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Supporting families and carers through mental health crisis by Julia Danks,

Julia DanksJulia Danks

Julia opened her presentation by saying that things will improve by working with families and closing the gap between networks and supporting and working with families where the crisis has involved acute admission.


Previous research has shown that family involvement in the acute phase of admission can decrease relapse of symptoms, rehospitalisation and improve the attitude of family members towards service users. Considering this and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust’s growing commitment to involving families and carers in the treatment process, the Meriden Family programme is conducting pilot projects within three inpatient settings. The aims of the projects are to build upon current good practice and build positive relationships with families. The projects also aim to test the impact of family intervention on the service user, family members, staff and the length of ward stay.


The pilot projects consist of training staff in an acute adult ward, eating disorder unit and a mother and baby unit, to deliver a brief form of behavioural family therapy to service users and their families. The training has been tailored to the speciality and needs of each unit and has a particular focus on information sharing, early warning signs work and problem solving and skills.


Family members and service users will complete measures testing for changes in their coping skills, both before and on completing family work. Whilst the projects are in their initial stages and outcomes are pending, the implications of the work could prove to be valuable in showing the effectiveness of brief family intervention within inpatient settings. 


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Events of interest:

Positive and Proactive Care: Reducing the need for restrictive interventions
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Psychosis & Schizophrenia in Adults
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Smoking Cessation in Mental Health
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Nursing Staffing Levels and Skill Mix In Mental Health
Monday 17 November 2014 London

Masterclass: The Mental Capacity Act and Advance Decisions
Tuesday 2 December 2014 London

Delirium: Implementing the New NICE Quality Standard
Tuesday 9 December 2014 London

Improving Physical Health for People with Mental Health Conditions
Tuesday 9 December 2014 London

Improving the Quality of Perinatal Mental Health Services
Thursday 11 December 2014 London

Masterclass: The Legal use of Control and Restraint
Wednesday 14 January 2015 London

Positive and Proactive Care: Reducing the need for restrictive interventions
Tuesday 3 February 2015 Birmingham

Meeting the National Access and Waiting Time Standards for Mental Health
Monday 9 February 2015 London

Psychological Therapies in the NHS 2015
Wednesday 11 February 2015 — Thursday 12 February London

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults in Mental Health Services
Tuesday 24 February 2015 London


Download: Julia Danks Presentation

17 October 2014


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