Thursday, 6 November 2014

We won!

Which is very ironic, to win a sustainability award for a project that is financially unsustainable...

But here's all the info from the press release:

‘Greencare for Personality Disorder’, run by Growing Better Lives Community Interest Company, has been named Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability Psychiatric Team of the Year 2014 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The annual RCPsych Awards mark the highest level of achievement within psychiatry, and are designed to recognise and reward excellent practice in the field of mental health. Three members of the team were presented with their award by Dr Daniel Maughan, Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Lead for Sustainability, at a prestigious ceremony held at the College’s London headquarters on 6 November.

Rex Haigh, Fiona Lomas and David Hare
‘Growing Better Lives’ is a social enterprise based in a yurt at Iver Environment centre near Uxbridge.  The team work with Slough NHS patients to provide an intensive ‘bio-psychosocial’ programme for patients with personality disorder, who have often suffered severe childhood abuse. There are weekly therapy groups based on principles of modified therapeutic communities, ecological sustainability and ‘greencare’ (therapeutic horticulture, animal assisted interventions, care farming and other nature-based approaches).  The team includes ex-service users, horticultural therapists and a medical psychotherapist. Iver Environment Centre is run by Groundwork South, who are partners in the project’s delivery.

Competition for the RCPsych Awards is extremely tough, and the judging panels were impressed by the quality of this year’s entries. The judges said: “The Greencare for Personality Disorder programme demonstrated really excellent environmental awareness across all aspects of the service from care delivery, reducing energy usage through to local food sourcing and using green spaces therapeutically. They also engaged both staff and patients in the service with improving sustainability and gave a high priority to improving environmental awareness”.

Professor Norman Sartorius, probably the most distinguished psychiatrist in the world, who also received an award at the same ceremony, endorsed the idea of therapy in a yurt when he recounted his experience in one in Mongolia, commenting that “it’s a circular space which is very non-threatening, very non-violent”.

When receiving the award, Dr Rex Haigh, the psychiatrist in the team, said:
“NHS services for personality disorders are often very poor, and greencare is a holistic and economically viable alternative to treatment with medication and hospitalisation.
Sustainability is about connecting people to each other and to nature, helping people to see that there is a life worth living, and on a planet that is worth living on.”

The therapy yurt at Iver Environment Centre

The interior of the yurt - an ideal setting for group psychotherapy

Growing Better Lives CIC is a social enterprise committed to providing, training, and researching critical approaches to mental health. 

No comments:

Post a Comment