We are pleased to launch Towards restraint free mental health practice: Supporting the reduction and prevention of personal restraint in mental health inpatient settings. This resource is the latest in a suite of work aimed at reducing and preventing the use of seclusion and restraint – work that is required by Rising to the Challenge.

Every mental health inpatient unit in New Zealand is engaged in some form of practice based activity that promotes least restrictive practice. Some units are trialling approaches that have been successful internationally, such as the New Zealand adaptation of the Six Core Strategies© checklist, and other units are trialling local initiatives that target local issues. There is significant sector investment and support for the provision of least restrictive care in inpatient settings.

Least restrictive practice is a term increasingly being used to describe a wide range of approaches and  practices that place the person at the centre of care and strive to eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint in inpatient settings. This resource is underpinned by the belief that the use of personal restraint is an adverse event that has an impact on everyone in the inpatient space.

Services can use this resource to plan and identify best practices that support a least restrictive approach to service delivery. The work incorporates the New Zealand adaptation of the Six Core Strategies© checklist.

Many perspectives inform this resource

A wide range of people were involved in developing this resource. Almost everyone identified the need for mutual respect, individual or person-centred care, whānau involvement, trauma-informed approaches, cultural competence and a commitment to ensuring environments can provide optimal care.

The importance of service user involvement

People working in services emphasised the importance of service user involvement at all levels. Service users emphasised the importance of making sure the workforce is appropriately supported and resourced to contribute to changes in practice.

Access the resource

Towards restraint free mental health practice can be downloaded from the Te Pou resource centre.