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A sneak-peak at some of the great strides the Nova Scotia government is taking in improving mental health awareness and access across the province.
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In medicine, many specialties have learners and healthcare professionals run simulations to practice their skills and approaches to various patient encounters. While commonly used for emergency med, traumas, critical care, and surgical scenarios, CAMH - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has opened the first simulation centre in Canada that focuses more on mental health ...
"Healthcare providers from a variety of Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network organizations ranging from nurses, pediatricians, psychologists, adolescent medicine specialists and family doctors participated in the simulations. The participants had opportunities to reflect on how to manage issues in interdisciplinary teams, such as assessment and treatment, as well as how to enhance communication and leadership to achieve better health outcomes for their patients and families."
An anonymous writer shares their immensely valuable first hand experience of what it's like for patients with psychosis undergoing a psychiatric assessment in a recent article for the BMJ.
Through this unique perspective, we can learn how to better manage these emergent psychiatric crises and assessments, as well as provide better support to these patients through developing greater understanding, appreciation, and empathy.
In this article, the author provides us with tips and advice on assessing and handling patients with mental health issues in the ED, including how to be mindful of time, noise, delivery of our questions, and especially of our nonverbal behaviours.
"You find my thinking jumbled and confused, the quantity and register of my speech is fluctuating wildly. But I’m also hyper-attentive to language, as anyone would be in a high stakes situation (was that “talk to” or “torture”?). In an idle moment a nurse at the foot of my bed has concluded an anecdote with a hearty “I could have killed him,” and perhaps she thought that was boring or inaudible, but I heard it. And I thought you wanted me to hear it, that it was in the script. (Just as I’m sure you wanted me to hear the sounds of pain just the other side of that curtain.) Because for now, you and I differ about what we think this building, this institution, is for.
In such a state, someone like me may seem beyond reassurance. But you can help—there are ways you can avoid reinforcing my fears ..."
Are you a fan of Star Wars? If so, did you know that two psychiatrists have written a series of papers based on their examination of mental illnesses using the infamous characters from the movie series?
As the article "How 'Star Wars' Can Help You Understand Serious Psychotic Disorders" explains, the purpose of their work is to "allow students and/or patients to have a visual representation of a disorder that’s often just talked about in theory or by symptoms", giving us a chance to not only have some fun learning about psychiatric disorders but to learn a few things too!
In Part 1 of this series, we explore the psychopathology among some of our most beloved characters (aka "the good guys" or the "light side of the Force") including Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, C-3PO, and of course Chewbacca. Disorders touched on include "histrionic, obsessive-compulsive, and dependent personality traits, perinatal psychiatric disorders, prodromal schizophrenia, pseudo-dementia, frontal lobe lesions, pathological gambling, and even malingering." (You can read the full article by accessing it through the Dalhousie or your own institution's library system: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25933645).
Supporting and enhancing students' and health professionals' knowledge and understanding of mental health and psychiatry