The busy month of March
This month saw three big events on three subsequent days. On the 26th March, Dr Daniel Maughan, RCPsych Sustainability Fellow 2013-15, gave the evening lecture at the new Royal College of Psychiatry premises. He was introduced by Dame Sue Bailey who gave some really positive words about how the profile of sustainability within the college has improved over the past year.
On the 27th March (NHS sustainability day), Dr Daniel Maughan launched the development of the RCPsych sustainability policy at the RCPsych council meeting. This produced a positive response from most members of council and the plan is now to develop the policy over the next 6-9 months. The aim of the policy is to inform members of the college about the reasons they need to improve the sustainability of their daily practice and to provide some thoughts about how this can be achieved.
On the 28th March, Dr Daniel Maughan invited David Cameron and Sue Bailey to the Warneford Hospital in Oxford to launch the collaboration between Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Forest and love care farming project. Inpatients from the Warneford are going to start using the 7-acre meadow next to the hospital as a space for low level recovery work and as a space they can relax and engage with nature. This initiative fits well into key sustainability principles - providing effective treatments that have a low carbon footprint and a positive social impact. Initiatives like this allow people whose lives have been greatly affected by their mental health condition to re-gain control over their lives by gaining confidence and learning new skills. Creating pathways to recovery throughout the patient journey is crucial and engaging with nature, learning new skills and working as a team are three very good examples of recovery based initiatives that promote sustainability within mental health services.