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Improving lives

Living library is just the ticket for GMMH students

Students on placement with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) have taken part in the Trusts first ever Living Library.

Staff from across GMMH volunteered to be living books in The Curve and students borrowed them for 20 minutes a time. Library and Knowledge Service Manager, Dan Livesey, said: “Living Libraries is a Danish concept whereby textbooks are substituted for people.

“A wide variety of professions were represented on the day including psychologists, inpatient nursing, psychiatry, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dietitians, social workers, pharmacists and occupational therapists.

“Working together within mental health services is essential. Many of us work within multi-disciplinary teams and evidence has shown that inter-professional learning in healthcare can improve collaborative practice and quality of care.

“The Living Library offered students the chance to ask questions, challenge pre-conceived notions and share their own experiences with our living books.” The Living Library was a partnership project between Practice Education Facilitators and the Library and Knowledge Service. The project was funded by Health Education England.

Throughout the day the living books were checked out 80 times during a day. One reader said: “It was really interesting to hear from the living books. Everybody was really approachable and no question was too much for them to answer”. A living book added: “Some of the students had limited knowledge of my role. I think they will now have increased awareness of the resources they can access once qualified”.

The event has received praise from everyone involved and the Library and Knowledge Service are looking to extend the project. Dan said: “Feedback has been incredibly positive and many of our readers and Living Books would like to participate again in the future.

“If you would be interested in participating in a Living Library, contact the GMMH Library and Knowledge Services Library@gmmh.nhs.uk.

“There are lots of photos from the day on the @GMMH_NHS and @Knowledge_GMMH Twitter accounts and you can follow all of the action via #GMMHLivingLibrary.”

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