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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.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Mental Health for the First Aider

  1. 1. Mental Health for the First Aider<br />By Kane Guthrie<br />
  2. 2. About Me<br />Former VFAS<br />Nurse<br />Researcher<br />Blogger<br />
  3. 3. Mental Illness<br />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.<br />
  4. 4. Mental Health First aid<br />Preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others<br />Provide help to prevent the mental health problem developing into a more serious state<br />Promote recovery of good mental health<br />Provide comfort to a person suffering a mental illness.<br />
  5. 5. What are the issues?<br />Stigma (seeking help)<br />Alcohol<br />Knowing what to do<br />Limited resources<br />Limited bed’s<br />More presentations<br />
  6. 6. The Stat’s<br />1: 5 Australian adults will suffer from some form of common mental disorder in any year<br />Over 2000 Australians commit suicide each year <br />
  7. 7. The Disorders<br />Depressive<br />Anxiety<br />Psychosis<br />Substance use<br />Personality disorders<br />
  8. 8. The Basic Principles<br />Assess risk of suicide or harm<br />Listen non-judgmentally<br />Give reassurance and information<br />Encourage person to get appropriate professional help<br />Encourage self-help strategies<br />
  9. 9. Medical Causes<br />Epilepsy<br />Blood sugar<br />Medication toxicity/overdose<br />Thyroid disorders<br />Strokes<br />Multiple neurological disorders<br />Infection<br />Hypo/hyperthermia<br />
  10. 10. Depression<br />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.<br />Kay Jamison, An Unquiet mind.<br />
  11. 11. Depression<br />Is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thought, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being.<br />May include feelings of:<br />
  12. 12. Suicide<br />Taboo subject<br />Men Vs Women<br />Committed out of despair<br />All patients with suicidal ideation need referral to a healthcare professional for assessment<br />“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”.<br />
  13. 13. The depressed/suicidal patient!<br />Listen (everyone has a story let them tell it)<br />Ask about suicide/plan/overdose<br />Request help<br />Stay with patient until help arrives<br />
  14. 14. Bi-Polar<br />Characterised by extreme mood swings.<br />Patient fluctuates between periods of depression, mania, and normal mood.<br />
  15. 15. Anxiety<br />A normal reaction to a stressor.<br />Ongoing episodes is disabling <br />Characterised by:<br />Physical<br />Psychological <br />Behavioral<br />
  16. 16. The anxious patient!<br /><ul><li>Move to low stimulus environment
  17. 17. Give reassurance
  18. 18. Encourage them to breath in unison with you
  19. 19. Arrange for medical review</li></li></ul><li>Psychosis<br />Loss of some contact with reality<br />Severe disturbances in thinking, emotion and behaviour<br />Causes severe disruption person’s life, relationships, work and self care.<br />
  20. 20. Psychosis<br />Delusions:<br />False beliefs of persecution, guilt, special mission, or being under outside control.<br />Hallucinations:<br />These are false perceptions.<br />Most commonly involve seeing, feeling, tasting or smelling things.<br />Perceived as very real by the person, but are not actually there.<br />
  21. 21. The Types of Psychosis<br />Psychotic depression<br />Schizophrenia<br />Schizoaffective disorder (Bi-polar & SCZP)<br />Drug induced psychosis<br />
  22. 22. The Thought-Disordered Patient!<br />Call for help<br />Approach quietly and cautiously<br />Be polite and respectful, and reassure<br />Listen, don’t contradict, debate or interrupt patient’s ideas<br />
  23. 23. The Violent/Aggressive Patient!<br />Call for help Police/Security<br />Don’t put yourself in danger<br />If safe to approach, do it slowly, identify yourself.<br />Try to ascertain source of aggression<br />Monitor till help arrives<br />
  24. 24. Substance Use Disorder<br />Dependence on alcohol or a drug<br />Use of alcohol/drug which leads to problems at work, school or home, and even legal problems<br />Use of alcohol/drug at a level which causing damage to health.<br />
  25. 25. The Intoxicated/Overdose Patient<br />DRABC<br />Remain calm, reassuring, professional<br />Maintaining the airway is paramount<br />Assess for other injuries/medical conditions<br />Monitor conscious state<br />History, what, when,& how much?<br />
  26. 26. Emergency Help<br />Police<br />Ambulance<br />M.E.R.L. (1300 555 788)<br />Emergency department<br />
  27. 27. Helpful ResourcesPhonelines<br />Lifeline Counseling:<br /><ul><li>13 11 14</li></ul>Kids Help Line:<br /><ul><li>1800 551 800</li></ul>Mensline Australia:<br /><ul><li>1300 789 978</li></li></ul><li>Helpful ResourcesWebsites<br /><ul><li>www.blackdoginstitute.org.au</li></ul>www.sane.org/<br />www.beyondblue.org.au<br />
  28. 28. Take Home Points<br />Your safety comes first<br />Listening is the best treatment<br />Remain open minded, non-judgmental<br />Don’t get into the circle of despair<br />Remember medical causes first<br />Mental illness doesn’t discriminate<br />Debrief yourself<br />
  29. 29.
  30. 30. Thank-you<br />

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