An appraisal of service users’ structured activity requirements in an Irish forensic setting
- Studies have indicated that forensic mental health service users who have a lack of structured meaningful time use are at increased risk for recidivism.
- In this paper, we report the outcome of a survey measuring the use of activities in an Irish forensic mental health setting, and we make recommendations for practice.
- Findings suggest that patients placed on units of higher security participate in less structured activity.
- Service user involvement in planning and implementing activities is vital as well as tailoring the activities to meet the changing needs of service users.
Participating in purposeful and structured daily activities is an important factor contributing to the health and well-being of forensic service users. A survey was carried out in an Irish forensic mental health setting to identify whether service users meet the standard of 25-h weekly activities, a standard set by the Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services, London. The findings indicate that 57 (61%) out of 93 service users fully meet the criteria. Furthermore, service users within the medium- and low-security environments appear to be engaging to an increased number of structured activities in comparison to those in acute units.