Mental Health for the First Aider
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Mental Health for the First Aider

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A presentation for first aiders in dealing with patients suffering from mental illness.

A presentation for first aiders in dealing with patients suffering from mental illness.

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    Mental Health for the First Aider Mental Health for the First Aider Presentation Transcript

    • Mental Health for the First Aider
      By Kane Guthrie
    • About Me
      Former VFAS
      Nurse
      Researcher
      Blogger
    • Mental Illness
      A mental disorder is a diagnosable illness which causes major changes in a person’s thinking, emotional state and behavior, and disrupts the person’s ability to work and carry on their usual personal relationships.
    • Mental Health First aid
      Preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others
      Provide help to prevent the mental health problem developing into a more serious state
      Promote recovery of good mental health
      Provide comfort to a person suffering a mental illness.
    • What are the issues?
      Stigma (seeking help)
      Alcohol
      Knowing what to do
      Limited resources
      Limited bed’s
      More presentations
    • The Stat’s
      1: 5 Australian adults will suffer from some form of common mental disorder in any year
      Over 2000 Australians commit suicide each year
    • The Disorders
      Depressive
      Anxiety
      Psychosis
      Substance use
      Personality disorders
    • The Basic Principles
      Assess risk of suicide or harm
      Listen non-judgmentally
      Give reassurance and information
      Encourage person to get appropriate professional help
      Encourage self-help strategies
    • Medical Causes
      Epilepsy
      Blood sugar
      Medication toxicity/overdose
      Thyroid disorders
      Strokes
      Multiple neurological disorders
      Infection
      Hypo/hyperthermia
    • Depression
      Others imply they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow and unendurable.
      Kay Jamison, An Unquiet mind.
    • Depression
      Is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thought, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being.
      May include feelings of:
    • Suicide
      Taboo subject
      Men Vs Women
      Committed out of despair
      All patients with suicidal ideation need referral to a healthcare professional for assessment
      “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”.
    • The depressed/suicidal patient!
      Listen (everyone has a story let them tell it)
      Ask about suicide/plan/overdose
      Request help
      Stay with patient until help arrives
    • Bi-Polar
      Characterised by extreme mood swings.
      Patient fluctuates between periods of depression, mania, and normal mood.
    • Anxiety
      A normal reaction to a stressor.
      Ongoing episodes is disabling
      Characterised by:
      Physical
      Psychological
      Behavioral
    • The anxious patient!
      • Move to low stimulus environment
      • Give reassurance
      • Encourage them to breath in unison with you
      • Arrange for medical review
    • Psychosis
      Loss of some contact with reality
      Severe disturbances in thinking, emotion and behaviour
      Causes severe disruption person’s life, relationships, work and self care.
    • Psychosis
      Delusions:
      False beliefs of persecution, guilt, special mission, or being under outside control.
      Hallucinations:
      These are false perceptions.
      Most commonly involve seeing, feeling, tasting or smelling things.
      Perceived as very real by the person, but are not actually there.
    • The Types of Psychosis
      Psychotic depression
      Schizophrenia
      Schizoaffective disorder (Bi-polar & SCZP)
      Drug induced psychosis
    • The Thought-Disordered Patient!
      Call for help
      Approach quietly and cautiously
      Be polite and respectful, and reassure
      Listen, don’t contradict, debate or interrupt patient’s ideas
    • The Violent/Aggressive Patient!
      Call for help Police/Security
      Don’t put yourself in danger
      If safe to approach, do it slowly, identify yourself.
      Try to ascertain source of aggression
      Monitor till help arrives
    • Substance Use Disorder
      Dependence on alcohol or a drug
      Use of alcohol/drug which leads to problems at work, school or home, and even legal problems
      Use of alcohol/drug at a level which causing damage to health.
    • The Intoxicated/Overdose Patient
      DRABC
      Remain calm, reassuring, professional
      Maintaining the airway is paramount
      Assess for other injuries/medical conditions
      Monitor conscious state
      History, what, when,& how much?
    • Emergency Help
      Police
      Ambulance
      M.E.R.L. (1300 555 788)
      Emergency department
    • Helpful ResourcesPhonelines
      Lifeline Counseling:
      • 13 11 14
      Kids Help Line:
      • 1800 551 800
      Mensline Australia:
      • 1300 789 978
    • Helpful ResourcesWebsites
      • www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
      www.sane.org/
      www.beyondblue.org.au
    • Take Home Points
      Your safety comes first
      Listening is the best treatment
      Remain open minded, non-judgmental
      Don’t get into the circle of despair
      Remember medical causes first
      Mental illness doesn’t discriminate
      Debrief yourself
    • Thank-you