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Sensory Rooms: To lock or not to lock?????

 
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Indi
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Joined: 03 Apr 2012
Posts: 1

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Hi all, I am from Auckland NZ. I recently started a new position as a Sensory Modulation Project lead- my role is to ensure mental health services in my health board receive training and then assist them to implement SM in a variety of mental health settings. One issue I have been debating with my Professional Leader is whether or not to lock sensory rooms, and what the practicalities of access are for people. I visited another hospital today who are providing a sensory room which is locked and people are let in with staff to use it. They have been doing this for the last 6 months and report it is working well. One advantage I can forsee with this approach is that it emphasises sensory modulation rooms are an intervention, not just another chill out space.

What are others opinions on this issue? What practical issues did you face in terms of access?
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Tina Champagne
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Joined: 03 Jun 2003
Posts: 152
Location: MA

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Sorry it has taken me a while to respond. I have been traveling a lot lately and have been meaning to get back online with the forum! ;o)

There are many pro's and con's to having a locked versus unlocked space. In addition to what you have mentioned, a locked room that is supervised during use you can keep a lot more items than a room that is left open all of the time and left unsupervised. The downside of the locked space is that it is not always open/needs to be supervised and therefore, may not be used as much. There are a lot of reasons why you may prefer one or the other. Some settings even have one of each over time. It really just depends on your setting, your resources, etc.

Tina
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Tina Champagne, OTD, OTR/L
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