Open House: Sowenna – the first in-patient adolescent mental health facility in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Posted on September 13 2019

Duchy Health Charity Trustees had the priviledge of witnessing this ‘closed’ facility at first hand on Friday 6 September 2019, just two days before the first residents arrived – closed because it is a secure facility and hospital of the highest quality with an holistic approach to treatments and rehabilitation for young people aged 13 to 18The invitation was extended to VIP’s, the press and sponsors by NHS Cornwall Foundation Trust who run the operation.

There are only two other units in the southwest capable of offering high dependency rooms as well as day- patient activities and some residential rooms (16 in total) at Plymouth and Bridgewater.

Our Charity has funded a specially designed sensory garden that also lets residents grow their own flowers and vegetables and also acts as a recreational facility; adjacent to an activity barn, gym, fitness and sports facilities for outdoor play.

Wave Academy, the specialist school helps the young either continue their full-time academic courses or if necessary starts ‘from scratch’, see www.waveacademy.comThe Arts are not forgotten and special studios have been designed to allow for ‘messy’ painting, sculpture and pottery / clay work.

All of this is the result of the 6 year amazing Sowenna Appeal which the Cornwall public have supported brilliantly as well as famous names like the Invictus Trust.

The latter was formed by the Cowburn family of Truro who in 2010 following the tragic loss of their son and brother aged 18, after a very short period of mental illness established Invictus with HRH Prince harry as its Patron
Here they run a café, mini bus, a virtual reality initiative and much more.

Dr Walden, who showed supporters including DHC Trustees, Carol O’Brien and Tim Guy, around the buildings said,
“Currently children from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have to travel out of county for this kind of service. The ability to regularly see family and friends while in hospital is a key element to a patient’s recovery, especially in the case of children. The new unit will enable Sowenna to deliver care much closer to home and there are two suites with kitchen facilities specially set aside for this purpose.”

For the future, Invictus Trust offers Anchor Fund grants to families who still need to travel out of county to access in-patient care and they continue to campaign for the new Cornish unit to cater for the needs of a full adolescent age-range, extending the provision to meet needs of young people up to the age of 25 years.

For further information see sowenn.cornwallft.nhs.uk and http://www.invictustrust.co.uk/