One in four UK adults will experience a clinical mental health condition during their lifetime. For many of these people, the right treatment and care will resolve their issue without major incident, but for some, there is a need for a more intensive approach to treatment. British police currently spend up to 40% of their time dealing with mental health related incidents, and hospitals receive more emergency admissions from people with mental health conditions than without.
Treatment and Care for Mental Health
One thing that has changed in recent years is the stigma towards mental health issues: we are now a lot more knowledgeable and accepting of the problems people face. However, mental health services are still stretched very thin, and there is pressure on the national government to free up funds and make mental health care a priority. As a result of this pressure, we are starting to see a growth in healthcare facilities and services which can tackle specific health needs.
Transport Risks and Concerns With Mental Health Transfers
At the time when emergency services are meeting mental health patients, there is often some form of crisis occurring and immediate help is required to prevent harm to the patient or others. Patients with a psychological condition are extremely vulnerable, and also sometimes very volatile or hostile. Even when an emergency is not occurring, these patients may find the stress of a journey difficult to handle. Being transported to a different care facility or even getting a ride home from the hospital can make patients anxious and nervous – and potentially cause a mental health condition to flare up.
Providing Calm and Safe Transport
Understanding the need of the patient and providing help during the journey requires the skilled care of a trained ambulance professional. Emergency ambulance technicians and those transporting outpatients or residents need the same awareness and training, in order to prevent a situation becoming dangerous. Having respect for the patient’s needs and keeping their safety in mind is crucial.