How To Reduce Ligature Risks In Mental Health Facilities
When users that self-harm or have attempted suicide are admitted into mental health facilities, they may be looking for a way to harm themselves again. This could be on anything within their surroundings – including fixtures and fittings, furniture, handles. This blog will explore how to reduce ligature risks in mental health environments.
To make mental health environments safer, it’s advised to minimize ligature points as far as possible, not only in bedrooms but also communal living spaces, bathrooms, receptions and private garden areas.
What Is A Ligature?
A ligature point is anything that can be used to tie a cord, rope or other material for the purpose of hanging. An anti-ligature product is one that reduces the risk of self-harm through strangulation, by making it as difficult as possible to secure a cord or other material in place.
How To Identify A Ligature Point
It’s often assumed that ligatures can only be found above head height. This is unfortunately not the case, and ligature points can actually be found at all heights.
It’s therefore vitally important that the furniture and products specified for mental health take into account the full range of complicated design solutions required to render equipment as safe as possible for mental health environments.
Design Characteristic Features To Look For
When specifying for mental health facilities it’s important to select products that have been specifically designed for anti-ligature environments.
These will typically be labelled as ‘Anti-Ligature’ products and will include features such as minimal or invisible fixings, rounded edges, embedded hinges etc. Non-specialist items that include anti-ligature features ‘accidentally’ may also be acceptable – but should be given careful consideration before use in challenging environments.
Anti-ligature TV Cabinet For Mental Health
Televisions can have very defined corners and are normally mounted to walls, making them a target ligature point. By fully encapsulating the TV and its fixings, you remove this threat.
TV wires can also be used by mental health service users to harm themselves or others or even as an access point to an electrical charge. These should always be inaccessible to users.
Grilles on the anti-ligature TV cabinet consist of offset 3mm holes, which allow for air to circulate through the cover, as well as allowing sound to transmit into the room.
Anti-Ligature Headboard For Mental Health Facilities
Headboards can have gaps or corners that offer an opportunity to create a ligature point. Anti-ligature headboards have rounded corners and are fixed to the wall, this way a ligature can’t be created.
Anti-Ligature Mirrors For Mental Health
As well as protecting service users, it’s important to make mental health environments feel homely and safe rather than clinical. Mirrors add an element of this to spaces such as bedrooms. Instead of glass, polycarbonate is used, to reduce the potential for shattering and the creation of ligature points or edged weapons.
Ligature Reduction Furniture
Alongside other individual anti-ligature products, Tough Plus is a full range of bedroom furniture with ligature reduction features throughout. Inset handles, strip hinges and backblocks are just some examples of the extra level of detailing that goes into the range.
Reducing ligature risks in mental health environments should be a specifier’s priority when selecting the right products. Above all else, mental healthcare facilities prioritise the safety of service users and staff. This should be reflected in the environments in which they spend most of their time.
For a solution that’s driven by the needs of those most vulnerable, talk to one of our experts today. they have over 25 years of experience in producing and selecting the right furniture and an in-depth knowledge of the capabilities of each range.
Tough Furniture manufacturer all furniture in house, in the UK. Furniture is delivered to the room and assembled by a specifically trained team.
If your project requires bespoke furniture, our in-house designers can work alongside you to ensure your vision is achieved.