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Mental health


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#1 Kiwiology

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 10:00 AM

So I was listening to somebody have a moan and bitch at me about having to "waste his time" dealing with some "bullshit nutter" when there was "nothing wrong with her" and "the cops didn't want to take her to the cop shop so they called us"

This is not the first time I have heard similar things said around the ambulance station from some very experienced, and by all accounts very empathetic and caring Paramedics. There is only a small amount on mental health in the National Diploma modules and nothing in the old Paramedic (ICO) modules I have completed, I haven't done the Degree so I can't speak for what they get taught.

It really pisses me off that we are quick to judge somebody as being a "nutter" or "attention seeker" or "fucked in the head" and write them off as bullshit because "hey, I could be sleeping right now!" yet I don't Ananybody writing off Nana who has fallen over and needs picking up, dusting off and putting back in bed or some bloke with chest pain as "some attention seeking bullshit job taking away my sleeping time!".


Mental health is a significant burden upon self and society; I would argue somebody with a mental health problem is at a greater risk of injury, illness and premature death than somebody who has advanced cardiovascular disease or who is obese. The WHO estimate 400 million people worldwide suffer from a mental health disorder, that a half million people per year commit suicide and that by 2020 depression will top trauma, stroke and ischaemic heart disease to become the second leading cause of death.

Why is it that we are quick to point the finger at people who have a psychological or psychiatric or other "mental health" problem as being somehow less deserving of Ambulance skills and resources or somehow less unwell or hoemostatically imbalanced than somebody who is has a fractured femur, cardiac chest pain or the sniffles?

But that is not important right, because they are just "some bullshit nutter seeking attention?"

Now with that thoughtt of the way for the evening, its a perfect time for me to go get destroyed on valiums and uppers to quell the intense psychoemotional agony I deal with on a daily basis

What, like that makes me biased or something? Mmmm valiums :D
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#2 Arctickat

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 03:48 PM

You're such a nutter. Have the aliens been telling you to do things again?

I used to have little patience for mental health issues, mainly because I couldn't understand the complexities behind the disease. Over time I learned though, and I've come to understand that a mental health crisis is just as significant as any other medical emergency.
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#3 Vorenus

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 10:42 PM

Guess the attitude comes from the fact, that you can`t do much for these patients. It`s not like that "fancy" medicine, working meds and doing big procedures. Sure in a suicide, you may get to really do something (though in your usual attempt, not even than that much - and the most primarily succesfull attempts, you`re usually not in a position to get to do much, at least in my experience) and you could use chemical restraint in a violent or agitated person.

But with your "normal" mental patient, that poses no danger to oneself or his surrounding and just has a chronical condition - it`s mostly just observational taxi-driving, so maybe there`s a tendency to place this calls down.
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#4 Kaisu

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:12 AM

The thing to remember is that no-one raises their hand and says "yes please - I'll have the schizophrenia and while you're at it throw in some addiction issues too." These people, through no fault of their own, are ill and need help. They call us because we are what there is when people need help with health problems, including mental health problems.
If you are fortunate to live in a part of the country with good mental health services, than at the very least, you serve as an entry point into the system. At the other end of the scale is saving a life - someone for whom the pressures to commit suicide outweighed the resources to overcome the pressures.

Nobody that aspires to be a health care professional gets off with the excuse "they didn't teach us that in school." If you are running on these patients, than you have an obligation to educate yourself so that you can be of help to them. It's your job.
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#5 island emt

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:33 AM

What Kaisu said!


In todays world where the funding for inpatient mental health facilities, & outpatient services had been drastically cut due to funding slashes, we have to respond and deal with these patients all too often. We are the last resort for many of these folks and need to understand the complexities of mental heath issues.
We are their advocates and the gatekeeper for the services they desperately need.
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