Mental health professionals have provided health and care services to people with mental health problems for generations. With the demand for mental health care increasing, it’s crucial to review the environment that facilitates treatment. This short article explains how anti-ligature products help mental health trusts to improve safety and enhance the overall comfort.
What do anti-ligature products do?
They are designed to prevent suicide via asphyxiation from a ligature. A ligature point is any part of furniture or an item that can be used to tie a rope or other material (ligature) for the purpose of self-harm. Anti-ligature products make it as difficult as possible to create a ligature point.
In mental health facilities, suicide, self-harm and violence are common challenges, particularly in private rooms where staff can only conduct staggered observational checks. Anti-ligature products can replace regular pieces of furniture, removing a number of ligature points from private rooms and other parts of the facility.
Benefits of Yewdale anti-ligature systems
Mental health trusts can simplify risk management and reduce the risks of ligature, self-harm and violence using YewdaleKestrel® anti-ligature systems. Our systems are market leaders in the UK and can be found in mental health trusts around the country.
We use load release magnets in our anti-ligature systems because they provide better tamper-resistance than other systems. For instance, a magnet cannot be jammed and doesn’t lose strength for hundreds of years, meaning our anti-ligature systems can last a lifetime.
Other benefits include:
- Simple installation
- Maintenance-free operation
- Fail-safe design
Traditional doors are a common ligature point, which makes the anti-ligature door one of the most important innovations in its field. At Yewdale, we manufacture a soft en-suite anti-ligature door which is fully waterproof and comes with a Crib 7 fire rating, making it compliant with high-risk environments.
SafeDoor 2 achieves its anti-ligature functionality thanks to its load release magnets which are securely stitched in anti-tamper pockets within the hinge. The hinge’s seams are welded for an additional layer of protection against tampering. If a downward force is exerted, the anti-ligature door will safely fall to the floor.
The magnets ensure that SafeDoor 2 can be reconnected in seconds and will not cause damage to the structure of the door frame. This is essential in mental health trusts because if a traditional door is damaged, the room becomes unsafe and the service user must be moved, which could adversely impact their mental health. The traditional door would also cost money to be repaired or replaced.
Windows are a key part of any mental health trust because they provide external views and let light brighten up the environment. Sunlight triggers the release of the hormone serotonin, which influences our mood and can help us feel calm. Even though sunlight is beneficial, blinds are often required to provide shading and privacy, creating a risk of ligature.
We manufacture anti-ligature blinds which utilise the same load release magnets as our en-suite door. Under an excess load, the blind will fall from the magnetic brackets. All our anti-ligature blinds are vandal and tamper-resistant, making them safer than traditional blinds.
Our range of fabrics ensures mental health trusts can find the shading solution to suit their environment. If external views are aesthetically-pleasing, we recommend a blind fabric that has an open weave and lets more light through, ensuring that views are not lost when the blind is in use.
In mental health settings, it’s crucial to reduce the risk of ligature by replacing traditional systems like doors and blinds with anti-ligature alternatives. Going a step further, it’s also important to consider the aesthetics of the environment. Since the goal is to help people with mental health disorders, the environment should be uplifting and support a positive recovery.
SafeArt, our anti-ligature artwork, is designed to improve the environment without creating a risk of ligature. The soft artwork is lightweight and flexible, meaning it can be safely displayed in corridors, private rooms and wards.
SafeArt has load release magnets stitched into the back which connect to steel mounting plates. The mounting plates have chamfered edges to prevent ligature and are fitted using anti-tamper screws to prevent the plate from being removed from the wall. Under a downward force, the artwork will detach, leaving the mounting plate securely in place.
SafeArt is interchangeable
We have a wide range of bright, relaxing images which we print on the artwork. Due to the magnetic connection, a mental health trust can introduce multiple SafeArts with different images and rotate them around the facility.
Anti-ligature shower track
The en-suite of private rooms is a high-risk area in mental health trusts due to the required privacy and time between checks. Our anti-ligature shower track utilises wall or top fix magnetic brackets which detach under an excess load.
We also produce an anti-ligature room divider track which works in the same way as our anti-ligature shower track. The divider track helps to maximise space and provide privacy. Both anti-ligature tracks are constructed from premium quality, aluminium which is maintenance-free.
Anti-ligature mounting plate
Our anti-ligature mounting plates are used to attach accessories like soap dispensers and paper towel holders. They provide trusts with great flexibility around the accessories they introduce to various areas.
We have two types of mounting plates:
- K09 mounting plate is connected to the wall via magnets, and the accessory is permanently attached to the plate
- K08 mounting plate is fixed to the wall and the accessory is attached to the plate via magnets
The K08 was designed for settings with a high risk of violence because the fixed design reduces the size of the item that separates from the wall. Both types of mounting plates prevent ligature points from being created using common accessories.
Why order from Yewdale
We work with mental health trusts around the UK, including Sussex Partnership Trust.
To request a sample of one of our anti-ligature products or ask a question, please get in touch.