Does the ambulance service need more training in mental health issues?

August 1, 2013
Does the ambulance service need more training in mental health issues?
Ruth Elliot, Senior Lecturer in the department of Mental Health and Learning Disability at the University of Huddersfield, has published an article discussing the need for a national 'Mental Health Pathway' to enable paramedics to provide the appropriate care for people who present mental health issues. Credit: The University of Huddersfield

Ruth Elliot, Senior Lecturer in the department of Mental Health and Learning Disability at the University of Huddersfield, has published an article discussing the need for a national 'Mental Health Pathway' to enable paramedics to provide the appropriate care for people who present mental health issues.

The Department of Health (DH) (2005a) acknowledges the huge modernisation of the ambulance service in England and faster access to people with immediate life threatening conditions, however the service is also responding to an increasing number of patients who have an urgent primary care need, which includes mental distress, as opposed to clinical emergency.

The DH (2006) policy calls for a "New Vision" where the ambulance service could increase efficiency and effectiveness towards patients who are experiencing non life threatening emergencies. The key aims are to form a programme of advancement to address both improving mental health and accessibility of services for people with . The vision of the policy is that by 2020 mental and physical health will have equal priority. The development of a mental health pathway within the may help to reduce admissions or re-attendance whilst improving care for patients. An evidence-based approach is used to provide a balanced, logical and supported argument within a reflection of practice (Borton, 1970,). This is evaluated against a hypothetical patient's case study which reflects common issues faced by paramedics and ambulance technicians. The analytical process considers patient, professional, organisational and multi-disciplinary team perspectives.

Explore further: Mental health and NCDs

Related Stories

Mental health and NCDs

May 14, 2013

Non-communicable diseases (NCD) and mental disorders each constitute a huge portion of the worldwide health care burden, and often occur together, so they should be addressed together. These are the conclusions of the third ...

Supporting children of mental health patients

July 12, 2013

A study in Norway has found that health professionals caring for people with mental illness have difficulty providing follow-up services to the children of these patients. The law in the country has changed to mandate follow-up ...

Recommended for you

How much video gaming is too much for kids?

September 27, 2016

(HealthDay)—Playing video games might improve a child's motor skills, reaction time and even academic performance, but new research shows that too much gaming can be linked to social and behavioral problems.

How we handle objects depends on who owns them

September 27, 2016

From scissors and staplers to car keys and cell phones, we pass objects to other people every day. We often try to pass the objects so that the handle or other useful feature is facing the appropriate direction for the person ...

Dogs ignore bad advice that humans follow

September 27, 2016

Dogs are less likely to follow bad advice than children, according to a new study conducted at the Canine Cognition Center at Yale. In contrast to children, dogs only copy a human's actions if they are absolutely necessary ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.