New inpatient unit based on recovery

    Psychiatric wards typically serve to stabilize those with severe mental illness when they’re in crisis. But a new inpatient unit at Philadelphia’s Friends Hospital takes a different approach.

    Psychiatric wards typically serve to stabilize those with severe mental illness when they’re in crisis. But a new inpatient unit at Philadelphia’s Friends Hospital takes a different approach.

    Listen:

    [audio:100115mshospital.mp3]

    The new 24 bed ward at Friends Hospital is designed around the tenets of recovery, which is emerging as an important concept in mental health care. Rather than focusing on controlling symptoms, this approach stresses patient autonomy and quality of life. Desiree Williams was once in treatment at Friends, and is now an employee – a peer specialist who will work with patients. She compares mental illness to being locked in a box:

    Friends Hospital CEO Kenneth Glass cuts the ribbon during a ceremony for the new inpatient unit
    Friends Hospital CEO Kenneth Glass cuts the ribbon during a ceremony for the new inpatient unit
    Williams: You’re trying to find a way out, and if you get that team that support those people around you that understand that, instead of leaving you in that box, all things are possible.

    Kenneth Glass is Chief Executive Officer of Friends Hospital. He says while in treatment, patients will develop new life skills.

    Glass:
    When you leave hopefully we’ll have identified both a network of people and a network of things that are of interest to you and that will help you grow and be a part of the community, and importantly, help you stay out of facilities like ours.

    The ward is the first inpatient unit of its kind in the Philadelphia region.

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