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Reducing seclusion and restraint

Reducing seclusion and restraint

Seclusion, restraint, and trauma

Seclusion and restraint are traumatising experiences for people receiving services and staff delivering services.

Reducing and working to eliminate seclusion and restraint is highlighted as a priority action in Rising to the Challenge.

Te Pou, with support from the Ministry of Health, have developed a range of evidence based tools to support inpatient services to reduce seclusion and restraint.

New Zealand has made good progress towards reducing seclusion and restraint and Te Pou will continue to support DHBs in this work.

Caro Swanson talks about working towards the elimination of the use of seclusion and restraint.

Working with district health boards

Te Pou works closely alongside district health boards (DHBs), providing advice and consultation to support change and ongoing practice development in reducing the use of seclusion and restraint. The use of data is a key focus of this work. The Te Pou Information team collate and analyse the seclusion data collected nationally, and work with DHBs to encourage active use of this data to inform and improve practice change.

Environmental factors

The inpatient mental health environment is an important consideration when focusing on reducing and preventing seclusion and restraint.

Services strive to provide an environment where everyone can feel safe, respected and welcomed. It is important that everyone involved in the unit feels heard and valued – staff and services users both have opinions, experiences and knowledge to contribute.

Opening Doors

The film Opening Doors was developed by Awareness: Canterbury Action on Mental Health and Addictions, with support from individuals and organisations including Te Pou. The film was developed to help people working in the sector understand the impact of seclusion on service users, family and staff. The training resource was released online in 2012, and free copies have been gifted to DHBs for training.

Sensory modulation

Whakaāio ā-rongo or sensory modulation is a tool that supports trauma informed approaches and reduction of restrictive practices. It is an evidence-based tool sitting within the Six Core Strategies© and has proven to have a positive impact on people accessing these services. Sensory modulation is becoming well embedded in New Zealand mental health and addiction services as part of increasing effort to reduce and eliminate seclusion and restraint.

Six Core Strategies service review tool

The Six Core Strategies are evidence-informed approaches effective in reducing seclusion and restraint events. The refreshed Six Core Strategies© service review tool (2020) was published following sector feedback and commitment to seclusion reduction and eventual elimination.

Working with Māori

Māori people who access mental health and addiction services still experience significantly higher rates of seclusion than non-Māori. Te Pou is working to promote least restrictive practice for Māori

Safe Practice Effective Communication | SPEC

Safe Practice Effective Communication (SPEC) is a four-day, District Health Board (DHB) based national training course which supports best and least restrictive practice in mental health inpatient units.

Key Contacts