Mental Health Awareness at Stamford Hospital
By Sarah Sanders, Clinical Operations Director of Patient Relations, Patient Resources and Behavioral Health
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. According to the data from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), 1 in 4 adults (approximately 61.5 million) Americans experience mental illness in a given year.
Stamford Hospital is committed to providing the highest level of patient and family centered care. We are dedicated and passionate about the care and service we provide for all of our mental health patients. Our focus is to maximize the quality of the patient’s life and help him/her return to his/her normal routine as quickly as possible. There are many activities and therapeutic groups held on the behavioral health unit to achieve this goal.
Despite the many challenges that we sometimes encounter in our job, we do our best to keep our patients connected with the outside world in a number of ways. We celebrate the holidays throughout the year. We also take our patients culture and special needs into consideration. For New Year’s we have food catered and we gather with our patients by the television to watch the ball drop. The Superbowl is another special occasion celebrated with pizza, subs, and lots of cheering for our favorite teams. On Valentine’s Day we provide candy and decorations so the patients can make cards for their love ones in arts and crafts group. For Thanksgiving the kitchen offers a special menu and sometimes the staff will bring in home cooked food so that the patients can feel a little closer to their loved ones. We also extend our visiting hours on the holidays to give families some extra time together.
We serve a buffet dinner every Wednesday in our day room for patients and their family and friends. We believe that this fosters a positive experience for not only our patients but their closest support systems. The dinner also provides staff an opportunity to interact with the patients on a different level. The staff serves the patients, giving them the advantage to improve their rapport. There has been nothing but positive feedback from all those involved, staff and patients.