Guest blog – mental health in EDs

Today is World Mental Health Day so RCEM has chosen Mental Health as the theme of day two of our jubilee celebration week.

Those of us working in Emergency Medicine are all too familiar with the effects that poor mental health have on our patients. EDs often struggle to provide good care and are hampered by stretched crisis mental health services. The good news is that finally Mental Health is on the government agenda and some funding is earmarked for improvement of services. The RCEM Mental Health committee has published the revised Mental Health toolkit today containing many resources, examples of good practice within EDs and links to the latest guidance and innovations for crisis mental health care.

Today sees the launch of a Randomised Coffee Trial for Emergency Mental Health. Randomised Coffee Trials (RCTs) are a simple but powerful idea. In an environment of ever increasing email and complex workloads, we are talking to each other less and less. We want to get Emergency Medicine doctors talking to each other in person or on Skype over a cup of coffee about how to help patients with mental health problems. So if you want to share good practice or vent your frustrations, or perhaps you are the mental health lead for your department and want to see what other departments do differently, then sign up below. You will be paired up with another ED doctor to get in contact. We will also get in touch later to see how you got on.

Finally the theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is Workplace Wellbeing. How good are we at looking after our own or our colleagues wellbeing? Given the personalities of people that go into EM, probably not always that good!  EMTA this year created some resources for their wellbeing week in August which are so good we did not feel the need to create our own!

Introduction: http://www.emtraineesassociation.co.uk/wellbeing-week-2017.html
Fatigue, shift work and rotas:   http://www.emtraineesassociation.co.uk/fatigue-shift-work–rotas.html
Stress, burnout and resilience: http://www.emtraineesassociation.co.uk/stress-burnout–resilience.html
Making training, work: http://www.emtraineesassociation.co.uk/making-training-work.html
Healthy work < life balance: http://www.emtraineesassociation.co.uk/healthy-work–life-balance.html
Mentoring and bullying: http://www.emtraineesassociation.co.uk/mentoring-and-bullying.html

You may also like to look at the links on the MIND website. https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-yourself/five-ways-to-wellbeing/ There are good ideas about creating clearer boundaries between work and home, re-claiming your lunch break,  and finding ways to wind down on the way home from work.

Do get in touch by email, twitter etc to share ideas or comments on any of these themes.

Catherine Hayhurst
RCEM Mental Health Sub-Committee.

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