People don’t resist change, they resist being changed

Our image of a hospital mental health ward is not very exciting. Apart from occasional therapy sessions we might expect to see little activity beyond watching TV, and dis-engaged staff. Indeed five years ago that is what you would generally find.

Marion with her support dog Buddy

However the picture, on UK wards, is very different now. One ward organizes space hopper races between patients, another has paper plate frisbee. Others have trampolining, exercise machines, indoor cycling or Taekwondo. Dance lessons include hip hop, rock and roll and disco. There have been Elvis and Abba nights. Another held a four week poetry workshop. In some staff use their own cars to take patients on trips and for family visits. You are likely to find staff absorbed in activity with patients.

A key element in the change has been the work of Star Wards, the organization set up by one inspirational woman, Marion Janner. She decided she wanted to help change the way acute mental health services were delivered in the UK. Now Marion had no position of power. She didn’t even work in mental health. Her only experience was as a patient, but that gave her lots of ideas how things could be better.

How did Marion enable that change? Click through to Delivering Happiness for full post.



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