InPatient Settings

During in-patient admissions, it is important to ensure young people are placed in an appropriate environment where they are able to meet similar others to ensure continued social interaction with their peer group. Having a designated adolescent common room with developmentally appropriate leisure activities may assist in establishing friendships within the hospital

Figure 1 Potential of clinic waiting areas in peer support.

environment. In order to maintain outside friendships, visiting times should be flexible enough to allow visits from school friends who may only be able to visit late afternoon, particularly when it is a prolonged admission. Young people should perhaps be encouraged to bring mobile phones with them to maintain ongoing contact with friends while an inpatient. Hospital policies banning the use of mobile phones however may need to be relaxed in clinical areas where it is not detrimental to the health of other patients in order to facilitate this. Providing access to the internet and e-mail within the hospital ward should also be considered as a way of sustaining friendships.

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