A survey of mental health staff experience, knowledge and attitudes regarding the management of clients with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) aimed to obtain baseline data to provide direction for developing planned education and determining staff willingness to participate in such training. A 23-item questionnaire was developed and posted to mental health staff in a public Area Mental Health Service in New South Wales (n = 516). A total of 229 staff completed the questionnaire. Most staff (85%) reported having contact with clients who have a diagnosis of BPD at least once a month or more frequently, with 32% of respondents reporting daily contact. Eighty per cent of respondents found dealing with clients who have a BPD to be moderate to very difficult; 84% of staff felt that dealing with this client group was more difficult than dealing with other client groups. Most staff (82%) believed that, as mental health professionals, they had a role in the assessment, management and referral of clients with BPD, as well as in educating and providing information. Staff readily identified resources which would be helpful to them when working with such clients. It was encouraging to see that the majority of staff (95%) indicated their willingness to gain further education and training in the management of these clients. Although many staff believed they were knowledgeable about and confident in managing these clients, most staff also indicated difficulties posed by these clients and perceived a need for further education and training in this area.
Considerable research documents the health consequences of psychosis and co-occurring substance use disorders. Results of randomized controlled trials assessing the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for persons with dual diagnoses are equivocal but encouraging. Many studies are hampered by small, heterogeneous samples, high attrition rates, short follow-up periods, and unclear description of treatment components. The treatments available for this group of patients (which can be tailored to individual needs) include motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, relapse prevention, case management, and skills training. Regardless of whether services follow integrated or parallel models, they should be well coordinated, take a team approach, be multidisciplinary, have specialist-trained personnel (including 24-hour access), include a range of program types, and provide for long-term follow-up. Interventions for substance reduction may need to be further developed and adapted for people with serious mental illnesses. Further quality trials in this area will contribute to the growing body of data of effective interventions.
School refusal in adolescence can be a symptom of a variety of disorders, particularly anxiety and mood disorder. Treatment programs need to be geared to the range of diagnoses which occur in this patient group and to the various circumstances associated with the onset of the problem.
These up-to-date recommendations provide an evidence-based framework that incorporates clinical wisdom and consideration of individual factors in the management of depression. Further, the novel style and practical approach should promote uptake and implementation.
Students who transition from high school to college are often excited by the new phase of their lives. However, they are exposed to circumstances and expectations which place them at risk for psychiatric disorders or that may exacerbate pre-existing problems. In this paper, we discuss risk factors and other issues associated with students transitioning to college or university life, identify challenges for health professionals, and suggest possible strategies to improve the mental health of young adults on college campuses. Academic staff and health care providers need to be aware of how best to engage and assist students during an important phase of their life. Processes and care pathways also need to be easily understood, user friendly, and appropriately resourced. It is anticipated that staff, students, and industry health care providers will benefit from a greater awareness of some of the mental health issues that may occur in higher education.
This study yielded important baseline data about the number of patients who have a carer. We were also able to determine that routine clinical information provided to patients and carers is inadequate from their perspective. It is anticipated that this initiative will assist ongoing service planning and improve partnerships with patients and their carers.
These up-to-date recommendations provide an evidence-based framework that incorporates clinical wisdom and consideration of individual factors in the management of bipolar disorder. Further, the novel style and practical approach should promote their uptake and implementation.
There is increasing emphasis on enhancing consumer and carer participation in the planning and provision of mental health services. However, health professionals, consumers, and carers have different perceptions about what constitutes optimal care; identifying, negotiating, and meeting their respective needs can be challenging. The aim of the paper is to highlight the challenges of facilitating carer participation in daily practice and emphasize the broader issues that would benefit from more extensive discussion among health professionals. By examining the strategies used to enhance consumer participation, there is the potential to avoid many of the mistakes of the past and create a flexible and responsive framework to increase carer involvement. The authors anticipate that this discussion will resonate with many clinical staff as well as carers themselves. Identifying barriers to carer participation opens the way to promoting collaboration and enhancing care.
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