Sensory Approaches in Psychiatry

Research about SI in Psychiatry was minimal, tools to do the work impossible to find. In Cornwall we presented information and case studies with colleagues from around the globe, exploring the evidence for SI in mental health.

Speakers included Kath Smith discussing the use of SI in South Africa in 1993 with looked after young people, and then Cornwall since 1998, in LD MH settings, then Trengweath MHU and now at Longreach MH Unit. Outcomes include reducing self-harm and other behaviours that are challenging, promoting engagement in therapy and improving self-regulation. This was presented considering the work of Jean Ayres, Lorna J King and South African Programmes of SI with schizophrenia as a rationale for why SI can be used in Mental Health.

Tina Champagne explored her journey with the Allen’s Assessment, development of a Sensory Toolkit for the Allen’s into an interest in sensory, developing a control and restraint reduction initiative.

Eadaoin Bhreathnach presented her inspiring work with attachment and sensory modulation especially with young people in care in Ireland.

Angie Turner, Head OT from Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust encouraged the group to consider how to implement sensory approaches across the Trust and encouraged delegates to explore and learn more about sensory underpinnings to wellbeing.