Thursday, 28 September 2017
On Friday, 27 September South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust held its annual collaborative event: Communications in Mental Health – Language of the Spirit, the Arts and Technology.
The event celebrated good practice and discussed how to improve communication in mental health and innovative ways to further involve clinicians, researches, carers and service users. The event also included presentations from a carer of an individual suffering from dementia, and of two service users describing the value of artistic expression such as painting and music as enablers of communication in mental health.
One of the projects highlighted was the REBIND pilot, which aims to improve the quality of life for people with dementia by using reminiscence therapy and autobiographical audio-visual techniques specifically tailored for individuals with memory problems , helping individuals to reconnect with themselves, their past, and family and friends. The REBIND pilot project has brought together the charity MyLifeFilms, which produced the autobiographical films , and the Clinical Research Unit at Barnes Hospital, which designed the intervention and evaluation pilot. It was carried out in Cecil Court Residential Home in Kew. The main qualitative outcomes of the pilot indicate that this type of technology has a positive effect on the individual, and there is also a small quantitative trend that some domains relating to mood may also improve. A positive outcome is described in social reconnection and especially within families, and staff in the care home are enabled and motivated by the better knowledge they develop of their residents.
Head of research Dr Robert M Lawrence said “We have innovative projects that our research teams are developing. This conference was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate a successful collaboration and to discuss learning among peers and colleagues about how we can use modern technology to improve the communication between service users, clinicians and families.”
Trust Medical Director Dr Mark Potter said “ Our Trust is leading the way in a number of initiatives and the REBIND pilot is one example of how we are working with organisations to improve the quality of lives of service users and their families.”