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WANTED: Books for Orchard House patients

WANTED: Books for Orchard House patients

Sunday 23 January 2022

WANTED: Books for Orchard House patients

Sunday 23 January 2022

Islanders are being asked to donate books for a local charity's new project to bring more reading material to Orchard House patients to aid their recovery.

Project RISE (Reading for Inspiration, Self-help and Engagement) was born out of the desire from islander's with lived experience of being patients on the ward to support the recovery of good mental health through access to reading materials and other related therapeutic activity.

It was set up through a partnership between Focus UP - Focus on Mental Illness's user participation group - as well as Orchard House patients and staff.

The project has grown significantly since its inception, broadening out from a narrow focus on books to wider range of related therapeutic materials.


Pictured: The books will be brought to Orchard House for the benefit of patients.

"As people with lived experience, we wanted to help ensure that what patients are accessing aids their recovery rather than hinders their progress,"  Emma Brooks, one of FUP volunteers, said.

"We have really valued working alongside patients and staff to look at the existing books available at Orchard House. Hopefully, with the help of the community, we will provide books and other resources that will improve mental health and make a real difference in the lives of people affected by severe mental illness.”

Luke Canavan, Another Focus UP volunteer, said that psychoeducation, in the form of reading about his illness, had benefitted his recovery. “I was given the Oxford Press booklet on schizophrenia, and along with medication, it was a key turning point in my recovery," he explained.

"It allowed me to identify with the fact I was not well and turn around my psychological deterioration.”

books reading

Pictured: "Having self-help books that you can dip in and out of, will help you expand and refresh your skills," a service user said.

Clinical Psychologist, Dr John Cartmell, added: “Orchard House is constantly improving our offer to people accessing our service. Through this joint project we hope to build a strong relationship with Focus MI and the wider Jersey community. 

“By doing so we will be able to replenish and refresh those normal resources found in homes across Jersey for people on Orchard House. It has been a pleasure to build this project with people accessing our service and Focus MI and we very much look forward to further projects in the future.”  

A service user explained that when on the ward and working towards independence in the community, patients want to take charge in their own recovery. "Having self-help books that you can dip in and out of, will help you expand and refresh your skills," they said.

"This initiative will provide a positive distraction in times of high stress, and at the same time can be accessed and practiced when you’re in a calmer state and when there are fewer structured times on the ward.”

Pictured: The Wishlist for the project is available online.

Focus UP volunteers, patients and staff have created a wish list of books covering a range of subjects including self-help, condition specific, fiction, general interest, and critical theory. The wish list also includes puzzles, crayons, board games and activity books.

Islanders are being asked to donate any good quality second hand or new books to the project. Donations will be accepted until Friday 11 February at the Salvation Army, as well as St. Clement's and St. Saviour's Parish Halls.

Any surplus of donations to this project will be distributed more widely by Focus on Mental Illness, ensuring that all donations will be enjoyed by people severely affected by mental illness.

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