Showing posts with label emergency mental health care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emergency mental health care. Show all posts

Friday, December 9, 2022

NYC Paramedic "I’ve Never Witnessed a Mental Health Crisis Like This One"

I’m an N.Y.C. Paramedic. I’ve Never Witnessed a Mental Health Crisis Like This One

New York Times
By Anthony Almojera
December 7, 2022
I’ve gone down the road of despair myself. The spring and fall of 2020 left me so empty, exhausted and sleepless that I thought about suicide, too. Our ambulances are simply the entrance to a broken pipeline. We have burned down the house of mental health in this city, and the people you see on the street are the survivors who staggered from the ashes.
Mr. Almojera is a lieutenant paramedic with the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and the author of “Riding the Lightning: A Year in the Life of a New York City Paramedic.”

There are New Yorkers who rant on street corners and slump on sidewalks beside overloaded pushcarts. They can be friendly or angry or distrustful. To me and my colleagues, they’re patients.

I’m a lieutenant paramedic with the Fire Department’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, and it’s rare to go a day without a call to help a mentally ill New Yorker. Medical responders are often their first, or only, point of contact with the chain of health professionals who should be treating them. We know their names and their routines, their delusions, even their birthdays.

It is a sad, scattered community. And it has mushroomed. In nearly 20 years as a medical responder, I’ve never witnessed a mental health crisis like the one New York is currently experiencing. During the last week of November, 911 dispatchers received on average 425 calls a day for “emotionally disturbed persons,” or E.D.P.s. Even in the decade before the pandemic, those calls had almost doubled. E.D.P.s are people who have fallen through the cracks of a chronically underfunded mental health system, a house of cards built on sand that the Covid pandemic crushed.
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pennsylvania man killed by police after mental health crisis

According to this report, police shot him after they used a taser
Man killed by police serving mental health warrant
Thursday, November 8, 2012

DALTON, Pa. (AP) — Police say they fatally shot a man while trying to serve him with a mental health warrant at his northeastern Pennsylvania home.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Seminole Behavioral Healthcare teaching Mental Health First Aid

Seminole Behavioral Healthcare is offering this again. I took the class a couple of months ago and it was wonderful. (Even I learned something there considering I spend so much time tracking it all day.) This is a unique opportunity to go places few will ever have to go so they understand what life is like for a survivor of trauma. It's a whole new world for them. It will also help you understand the types of trauma dictate how you need to approach the people you are trying to help heal.

Combat veterans have the toughest job of healing because of the severity of their traumas and duration. Then, cops. These people are not just survivors of the traumatic events, they are participants in them because of their jobs. Different traumas, different needs, different ways to help them. This is a great course to take.

Mental Health First Aid was created by Professor Anthony Jorm, a respected mental health literacy professor, and Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education. The program is auspiced at the ORYGEN Research Center at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Four detailed studies have been completed in Australia and nearly a dozen journal articles published on Mental Health First Aid’s impact on mental health literacy. One trial of 301 randomized participants found that those who trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing help to others, greater likelihood of advising people to seek professional help, improved concordance with health professionals about treatments, and decreased stigmatizing attitudes.

To date, Mental Health First Aid has been replicated in England, Scotland, Finland, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Wales and Singapore. In the US, we truly value the supporting evidence and strive to achieve fidelity to the original Mental Health First Aid program developed in Australia. In the next ten years, we hope that Mental Health First Aid in the US will become as common as CPR and First Aid training. It has the potential to reduce stigma, improve mental health literacy, and empower individuals — the benefits are limitless!

In order to become certified in Mental Health First Aid, you must attend a 12 hour course endorsed by the National Council for Behavioral Healthcare. In order to find out more about upcoming classes, simply click the "Help/Contact" button to the left of this page, or call (407) 831-2411 X1206. There is still room available in our June class!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

L.A. County mental health chief says he will try to rely less on police

Marvin J. Southard's office can't force crowded hospitals to accept its emergency patients, so it sends them to law enforcers who can. He tells county supervisors he's looking for other options.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
November 26, 2008
Los Angeles County's chief mental health official said Tuesday that he is working to reduce the number of times his staff forwards emergency assistance calls involving the mentally ill to police, a practice that has grown over the last year as fewer hospital beds have been available to treat such patients.

Marvin J. Southard, called before the Board of Supervisors after news reports highlighted the problem, told the board he is in talks with county health officials to find better options.

"This issue is really an issue of indigent care at the county hospitals," Southard told Supervisor Mike Antonovich during questioning. "We contract with private hospitals to provide indigent care, but there are some patients only county hospitals will accept."

Mental health workers have increasingly turned to law enforcement officials to handle emergency calls because hospitals are required by law to take emergency mental health patients transported by police. If a county mental health worker brings people in for treatment, facilities are not compelled to accept them.

As of last month, there were 2,562 beds available for mental health patients in Los Angeles County, records show, and only about 200 of them were at county hospitals, which are required to admit poor and uninsured patients.
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