Managing Mental Health Crisis as First Responders
Approximately 20% of adults and children in the United States are experiencing a mental health condition, and 46.4% of adults will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. For adults experiencing serious mental illness, they are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
As a first responder, you will come into contact with patients experiencing mental health conditions, and understanding special considerations for these patients is crucial to improving your quality of care.
In this webinar, we will:
- Examine issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the setting of crisis intervention
- Distinguish between a mental health crisis and a mental health emergency
- Identify the attitude and skills necessary to safely and effectively work with individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis
- Outline the process for assessment of the patient experiencing a mental health crisis
- Select appropriate communication techniques for use in de-escalation of a mental health crisis
- Recognize verbal and non-verbal cues in a patient’s behavior that may indicate an imminent escalation of a mental health crisis into a mental health emergency
- Identify specific strategies to protect yourself, patients, and staff when engaged in a situation in which a patient may become violent
- Describe the communication skills necessary for providers to effectively communicate with other professionals (healthcare and public safety) involved in care for a patient experiencing a mental health crisis
About The Presenter:
Melodie Kolmetz is a New York state-certified paramedic and Certified Instructor Coordinator (CIC) with 30 years of experience in various types of EMS delivery services, including 911 transport, fire-based first response, and fire-based transport. She is also a nationally certified physician assistant with 25 years of experience in primary care, emergency medicine, urgent care, gastroenterology, occupational medicine, and school physician services. She is currently the director of didactic education and a principal faculty member in the developing physician assistant program in the school of health sciences and human performance at Ithaca College. She currently provides clinical care as part of the Rochester Regional Health Mobile Surgical Services team and occupational medicine/school physician services at Northern Star Medical, where she provides care for several of the local fire departments and EMS agencies. Melodie graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology PA program in 1995. She received an associate’s degree in paramedicine from Monroe Community College in 2012, she received a master’s degree in physician assistant studies with a concentration in PA education from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2015, and she is currently pursuing a doctor of philosophy in curriculum, instruction, and the science of learning at the University at Buffalo. Melodie serves as an NAEMT regional faculty member and as a Physician Assistant Foundation Mental Health Outreach Fellow. She is certified to teach adult mental health first aid plus additional higher education; fire and EMS; and law enforcement, corrections, and public safety modules. Melodie is passionate about community service, life-long learning, educational technology, and mentorship/sponsorship. Melodie resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York with her husband and two teenage boys.