New Report on the Role of Mental Health Peer Support in Emergency Departments
New research suggests that people in mental distress seeking help at an Emergency Department would benefit from access to peer-support workers who understand their experience.
Wednesday 12 August 2020
“Someone to be with you and when other people haven’t got time and there's a long gap, just to explain what's going on, or sit with you and be present with you.” Focus group participant
The provision of peer support work in Emergency Departments is on the frontiers of mental health practice. Hospital Emergency Departments are often under-resourced and overwhelmed and individuals presenting with mental distress typically experience long wait times – sometimes much longer than those presenting for physical complaints; potentially exacerbating their distress.
Peer support is increasingly utilised in the Australian mental health system and may play an important role in addressing the unmet needs for consumers and enhance the responsiveness of the ED service.
Launched today, the Examining the Role of Mental Health Peer Support in Emergency Departments report provides a number of key recommendations regarding this work.
The report comes from a research project funded through the Melbourne Social Equity Institute's 2018 Seed Funding Round.
In total, around 50 people participated directly in this project. The research team was comprised of 12 investigators, of which half identified as having lived experience.
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