HIGH­FIELD: Pro­vid­ing an ex­cep­tional level of men­tal health care

Nick Smith, Clin­i­cal Nurse Co­or­di­na­tor at Dublin’s High­field Health­care, out­lines the out­stand­ing level of treat­ment the fa­cil­ity of­fers for those with men­tal health is­sues.

Hot Press - - Highfield Healthcare - GPs can find more in­for­ma­tion on the re­fer­rals process, as well as the Hamp­stead Clinic Brochure, by vis­it­ing high­field­health­care.ie/re­fer­rals Con­tact: High­field Health­care, Swords Rd., White­hall, Dublin 9 Tel: 01 837 4444 Email: info@high­field­healthca

High­field ealth­care is run by the Eus­tace fam­ily. It was opened in 1825 and is still very much a fam­ily-run fa­cil­ity. It’s a very pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ment set amongst gor­geous grounds.

Our pro­grammes of treat­ment make great use of our sur­round­ings and we pro­vide gen­eral ex­er­cise, walk­ing groups, na­ture groups and out­ings to lo­cal parks and botan­i­cal gar­dens, where peo­ple can prac­tice their mind­ful­ness tech­niques in a tran­quil set­ting.


I pri­mar­ily work at the amp­stead Clinic ay

os­pi­tal. We’ve been up and run­ning for ust un­der two years now. This ser­vice is open from 10am un­til 4pm Mon­day to Fri­day, and for ad­di­tional in­di­vid­ual work af­ter the ay os­pi­tal has fin­ished. This al­lows peo­ple to take the kids to school, visit the ay os­pi­tal and then head home in the evening for din­ner and to sleep in their own bed. They also have the week­ends at home with their fam­i­lies. It works around fam­ily life much bet­ter than be­ing an in­pa­tient in a hos­pi­tal. That con­ve­nience is re­ally im­por­tant. Clients can con­tinue to be at home with their fam­ily and they don’t lose con­tact. It is very im­por­tant for a lot of clients that they have that ca­pa­bil­ity.

Clients are re­ferred to us through their Ps and, along with my col­leagues in the ay os­pi­tal, I re­view those re­fer­rals and we or­gan­ise ad­mis­sion to the ay os­pi­tal there­after. I also man­age a team of very ex­pe­ri­enced staff. We have what we call a ‘multi-dis­ci­plinary team’ and that in­cludes con­sul­tant psy­chi­a­trists, psy­chol­o­gists, so­cial work­ers, oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists and three very ex­pe­ri­enced staff nurses.

When peo­ple come here for an as­sess­ment, it might be the first time that they’ve ac­tu­ally sat down and spo­ken openly about their prob­lems. Peo­ple find that help­ful in it­self, to sit down with some­body and open up about what dif­fi­cul­ties they have had in the past or are hav­ing now. Men, es­pe­cially, need to be­come bet­ter at reach­ing out for help.

At­ti­tudes to men­tal health are im­prov­ing, but there is still a large per­cent­age of peo­ple who find it dif­fi­cult to open up about men­tal health is­sues. ow we ap­proach the work at amp­stead Clinic ay os­pi­tal can break down those bar­ri­ers. We want to make it as easy as pos­si­ble for peo­ple to voice their con­cerns.

In the ay os­pi­tal we have a pro­gramme that spans five weeks. Through­out that time, clients have group work with psy­chol­o­gists and so­cial work­er­sAE and in­di­vid­ual work with oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists. The in­di­vid­ual links in with their con­sul­tant psy­chi­a­trist through­out the week, so as to mon­i­tor where they are at with their over­all psy­cho­log­i­cal well­be­ing. They would also link in with the ex­pe­ri­enced nurs­ing staff and make sure that if any­thing needs to be brought to the team’s at­ten­tion, it is done straight away.


Peo­ple need dif­fer­ent lev­els of en­gage­ment with the var­i­ous treat­ments we pro­vide. I set aside two-and-a-half hours to do the ini­tial as­sess­ment in the ay os­pi­tal be­cause I think we should get to know each in­di­vid­ual client as well as we can dur­ing the early stages of treat­ment.

We look at the prob­lems they are pre­sent­ing, what symp­toms they are suf­fer­ing from, but also at their younger years and how their child­hood and up­bring­ing may be af­fect­ing their men­tal health. It’s a re­ally thor­ough as­sess­ment and a num­ber of clients have told me, over the years, how help­ful they’ve found it. The staff at igh­field ealth­care reg­u­larly get com­pli­mented on how thor­ough the process is.

In terms of ther­apy, we cover dis­ci­plines like Cog­ni­tive Be­havioural Ther­apy ­CBT®, which is based on the con­cept that thoughts, feel­ings, phys­i­cal sen­sa­tions and ac­tions are in­ter­con­nected. The neg­a­tive thoughts and feel­ings can trap peo­ple into a vi­cious cy­cle and CBT at­tempts to deal with the prob­lems that arise from this in a more pos­i­tive way, by break­ing them down into smaller parts. It’s a very ef­fec­tive form of ther­apy for de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety. It’s some­thing that we do in both group and in­di­vid­ual set­tings.

Mind­ful­ness has also be­come a big part of our pro­gramme and be­tween midday and 12:30, time is set aside for clients to en­gage in mind­ful ther­apy. The idea with mind­ful­ness is to pay at­ten­tion to the present mo­ment, our thoughts and feel­ings, and the world around us.

When we be­come more aware of the present mo­ment we be­gin to ex­pe­ri­ence things in a dif­fer­ent way. Mind­ful­ness al­lows us to ex­pe­ri­ence our stream of thoughts and feel­ings and al­lows us to take a step back and ob­serve cer­tain pat­terns. Some may have not prac­tised mind­ful­ness prior to com­ing to the hos­pi­tal, but are then re­ally keen to con­tinue with it once they have com­pleted their treat­ment with us.

Treat­ments pro­vided at the Hamp­stead Clinic Day Hos­pi­tal

•Art Ther­apy

•Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­ogy

•Cog­ni­tive Be­havioural Ther­apy (CBT)



•Mind­ful­ness Based Cog­ni­tive Ther­apy (MBCT)

•Oc­cu­pa­tional Ther­apy

•Well­be­ing Pro­grammes


With clients com­ing to the ay os­pi­tal, we tend to see is­sues like anx­i­ety, which can in­clude prob­lems like so­cial anx­i­ety and gen­er­alised anx­i­ety dis­or­derAE we see peo­ple who are de­pressed, in a low mood, peo­ple with bipo­lar con­di­tion­sAE and we also have peo­ple in the ay os­pi­tal who may suf­fer from psy­chosis.

If peo­ple are strug­gling at home or at work, I would al­ways en­cour­age them to go and talk to some­body. o and con­tact your P. Talk to the

P about what might be on of­fer in the lo­cal­ity. What I’ve found, over the years, is that peo­ple say, “If only I’d done this ear­lier, things might have been eas­ier for me.” It’s re­ally im­por­tant to talk and let some­one know that you are strug­gling. As soon as that is done ev­ery­thing else be­comes eas­ier.

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