Helping people with severe and enduring mental health difficulties to live a longer and more fulfilling life has resulted in a practice excellence award for a team based at Livilands Mental Health Resource Centre in Stirling.
The award, from the Mental Health Nursing Forum Scotland, was for a programme which includes master classes in art, sporting activities including bowling, badminton and football, and education about diet, smoking, and substance misuse.
Research shows that side effects from prescribed medication and negative symptoms of the illness can lead to increased risks of long term health conditions and impact on life expectancy. Because of this, people with severe and enduring mental health problems could have a life expectancy of 15-20 years less than the general population. Staff in the Mental Health Resource Centre say they refuse to accept that this needs to be the case and have developed ways to try to address inequalities.
Senior Charge Nurse, Heather Tainsh, explained: “Many of our patients have had significant episodes of relapse in early adult life and have missed the opportunity to learn the skills of socialising, cooking, maintaining employment and generally all the things which bring quality to our life experience. At Livilands Resource Centre we decided to try to do something about this.”
Activities arranged over the past year have included garden parties, one specifically for the 70th anniversary of the NHS and a 10 mile walk. A gardening group has been established to enable patients to grown their own vegetables and a Young Person Group has been created with the support of local staff.
Pictured: Staff from the Livilands Resource Centre are pictured receiving their award.