Elimination of Seclusion
In the past, seclusion was used extensively in mental health facilities with people subject to compulsory treatment. Attitudes internationally to the use of seclusion have changed considerably over recent years with better understanding of the nature of severe distress, the short and long term harmful effects of this practice and increased awareness of its implications for human rights.
Kites asserts that the use of seclusion should be eliminated from all psychiatric facilities for the following reasons:
- It is a violation of human rights
- It is traumatising for all involved and especially for the person being secluded. This trauma can have serious negative effects for many years
- It can seriously damage any trust people may have in mental health services and diminish the likelihood they will seek treatment from them in the future.
Opening Doors - a video about seclusion
Opening Doors is a training resource developed by Awareness: Canterbury Action on Mental Health and Addictions to help people working in the mental health sector understand the impact of seclusion on all those involved.
The intention is to encourage the use of alternatives, so that mental health inpatient seclusion – leaving a distressed or agitated person locked in a bare room, alone – can become a thing of the past.
The training film offers the views of people who have been secluded, their family and mental health services staff. The trauma of seclusion is discussed, as well as effective, recovery-focused alternatives that promote respect and culturally appropriate care grounded in compassion.