TIC Update at UF Shands Psychiatric Hospital

Richard Holbert, MD
Richard Holbert, MD

The transition to a Trauma-Informed hospital has begun at UF Shands Psychiatric Hospital (UFSPH).  Over the last few weeks, the nurses’ station windows have been cut approximately ½ from the top and on 2 units mostly eliminated.  Evidence has demonstrated improved patient experience with open nurses’ stations and no evidence of an increase in aggression.  We will plan to remove all the glass from the stations within the next 6 months.

Two peer specialists have been hired at UFSPH, Gus Knight and Katie Hancock.  The role of the peer specialists will be to engage patients into their treatment plan, provide education and hope to our patients, and be a go between the patients and staff to assist in providing a healing environment.   Taken from Joe Munson (director of clinical services), peer providers bring unique strengths and qualities to the integrated team.

These strengths include:

  • Personal experience with whole health recovery that includes addressing wellness of both mind and body.
  • Insight into the experience of internalized stigma and how to combat it.
  • Compassion and commitment to helping others, rooted in a sense of gratitude.
  • Can take away the “you do not know what it’s like” excuse.
  • Experience of moving from hopelessness to hope.
  • In a unique position to develop a relationship of trust, which is especially helpful in working with people in trauma recovery.
  • A developed skill in monitoring their illness and self-managing their lives holistically.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is now offered at UFSPH.  EMDR may be helpful for PTSD, panic attacks, phobias, sleep problems and other conditions.  Karla Roberts provides EMDR at UFSPH.

Soon, we will be renaming our Units.  The new names will be healing in nature consistent with the TIC approach.

UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital
UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital

If you missed the screening of the movie Resilience-The Biology of Stress we highly recommend viewing.  One reviewer commented that the movie is a good reminder that when we are working with “difficult” patients that remaining compassionate can make a positive change for the patient.  UFSPH has obtained access to the film and we will distribute information on how you may watch.

Other exciting projects are in process.  If you have not, please join the Trauma-Informed Care: Shands Psychiatric Hospital group on the UF Health Bridge.