What is it about?

Accessing mental health care can be challenging for a number of reasons and patients experiencing poor mental health (or those with mental health labels) often face stigma and lower levels of care. It is important for all people involved in the care of those with mental illness or injury to be aware of this and to challenge it not only in their own practice, but also where observed elsewhere. This article is a comment piece, based on another article, which described the care of patients presenting to an emergency department in the US. The US article raised a number of issues that are transferrable across all areas of practice as well as across different healthcare systems.

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Why is it important?

There are a number of practices explained in the US article, which demonstrate poor practice. These include not making assumptions on elements of care such as risk and the importance of the appropriate use of language. Alongside challenging poor practice, it is important that those involved in the care of people with poor mental health (or mental health labels with good mental health) use examples of poor practice to reflect on their own bias and assumptions and consider how best to improve their own practice.


Writing this article was a real joy as it allowed me to really reflect on my own practice and how I can better provide care for patients. It allowed me to explore the literature that backs up best practice, as well as considering my personal perspective on such matters. The issues raised are very transferrable to all elements of practice, UK practice as well as healthcare systems across the world. Whilst the reflections in the article are limited and it is based on reported practice from the US, I hope you find this comment piece thought-provoking and that it prompts you to consider the points raised in relation to your own approach to mental health care.

Charlotte Wright

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Everything that is wrong with mental healthcare, Journal of Paramedic Practice, April 2021, Mark Allen Group, DOI: 10.12968/jpar.2021.13.4.165.
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