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“It’s good to talk” – creating conversation and neighbourly spirit on our wards

Wakefield Written by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new innovative chat area to promote conversation and neighbourly spirit on our inpatient wards.

“It’s good to talk” seating areas will be launched in wards at the Trust, beginning at Stanley ward, a 22 bed male inpatient mental health ward at Fieldhead, who will pilot the new initiative over the next few months.

Named and created with people who are currently living and receiving mental health services at Stanley ward, the chat area will help to encourage conversation between inpatients; reducing potential loneliness and creating neighbourly spirit within the ward.

The launch is part of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ community campaign, which returns this December to help prevent loneliness and social isolation over the winter period.

Pete Phiri, ward manager at Stanley ward, said: “When a person enters our ward it can be a scary time for them – they are dealing with a mental health emergency and are away from their home, friends and families, alongside living with other people in our care who they haven’t met before.

“The chat area will help to ease this anxiety, providing a space for people to come together and get to know each other.

“If someone is sat in the “it’s good to talk” seating area this means they are letting other people know they free to have a chat; which helps break down invisible social barriers.

“We are excited to pilot this new initiative on our ward and share the feedback to help support future roll-out to other wards across the Trust.”

Rob Webster, CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and CEO lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, said: “I am very proud to continue supporting the Looking out for our neighbour’s campaign and bring this into our wards at the Trust.

“Talking is an important part of recovery; it helps people find things they have in common and build new relationships – reminding people that they are defined by many things and not just their mental health.

“As a Trust, we are always looking for new ways to improve the experience of people who use our services and we are excited to hear the feedback on the initiative from both staff and people in our care.”

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