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New outside gym for Trusts mental health unit

mac gymA new and improved outdoor therapies area has been unveiled at a mental health unit at Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The new outdoor space at Macarthur Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in West Bromwich, which includes a gym, therapeutic garden and games area, was officially opened in October last year but is now in full use with the summer months upon us.

Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Macarthur PICU, teamed up with Caloo Limited to transform the previously under-utilised gardens into a multi-functional space.

Staff and patients were involved in the planning and design stages to ensure the work reflected the needs and wants of those staying at the unit.

Michelle Young, Matron, said: “Originally the garden was used as a designated smoking area for patients so it was associated with mainly smoking and not as a therapeutic area. It was imperative that we changed the use so as to encourage therapeutic use of the space and promote recovery. I was delighted to be associated with this project.”

Tom Reader, Clinical Exercise Instructor, said: “The outdoor space at Macarthur Unit was under-utilised and we really wanted to refocus our use of the area to create a space for service users to enjoy. It took 12 months of planning and hard work from everyone involved with the project but the team are pleased to say there has been a total transformation.

“It was designed as a result of collaborative working and works fluidly with other outside spaces at Macarthur PICU which are used for a variety of activities. The design has allowed for enhancing opportunities for activities including sports, gardening and relaxation, harnessing the benefits to mental health and well-being by engaging in outdoor pursuits that patients can continue after discharge as part of their ongoing recovery and reintegration into the community.”