Supporting families and carers through mental health crisis by Julia 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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Download: Julia Danks Presentation17 October 2014