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On The Ward new episode: the social side of mental health

LISTEN: S2 | EP2 - Social Life

St Andrew’s Healthcare has today released episode two of its second podcast series, which aims to demystify what it’s like for patients and staff living and working in a secure mental health hospital.

The episode - part of the award-nominated series On the Ward, hosted by staff nurse, John Barry Waldron - focuses on social side of mental health, and investigates how social lives have an impact both on people inside and outside of hospital.

During the course of the 36-minute episode, entitled Social Life, John speaks to a psychologist, a social worker, and a former St Andrew's patient.

In the episode, Psychologist Caroline Power explains that the social side of recovery is very important.

"It is what makes us human. We are social beings, made to be around people - that's as important to people in hospital as it is for anyone else.

"We all need a balance of different things that make you feel good about yourself; you need to feel creative, connected to the community in some way, you may have spiritual needs, a desire to be around likeminded people... but these are things that may be taken away from you if you are in hospital.

"On a mental health ward, you have formal interventions - an occupational therapist may visit you, a nurse, a psychologist, but often it's the more informal chats that people remember the most." 

"That's what they call the art of nursing", explains John.

Caroline:

"Everyone has to do their duties, but it's the small things above and beyond that - like taking time to talk to people about their interests, playing a game with them, that sort of connectedness that people value the most."

The episode also features a former patient who left St Andrew's earlier this year, and a social worker, who explains their role in keeping patients connected with their homes and former lives in a safe way.

The new episode, On the Ward: Social Life, is out on Apple iTunes and Google Play now. Or listen here.