Introduction from Dr Clare Skinner
President of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine
Introduction by Natasha (Tash) Swingler
a lived experience consultant in the tertiary mental health system

Welcome to the Mental Health Care in the Emergency Department: Learning from Lived Experience online resource. 

Here, you can find mental health education and training resources exploring diverse experiences of mental healthcare within emergency department (ED) settings.  

To create these learning resources, our researchers spoke to 17 people about their experiences of mental health care within ED settings. People talked about pathways into the emergency department, experiences of assessment and treatment, helpful and unhelpful interactions with staff, and discharge and referrals.  

The mental health education and training resources have been designed to inform and support ED staff who are involved in mental healthcare. Based on excerpts from people’s personal experiences of mental health care in the ED, each education and training resource has an accompanying summary and key takeaway points that ED clinicians, emergency care nurses, consulting psychiatric registrars and other staff located within emergency departments can use to inform their practice. 

Many ED staff may feel that some or all of the key points and suggestions made in these resources are a part of their everyday practice. However, these suggestions are based on people’s lived experience of mental health care as they described it to our researchers.  

Please note, we have used the term ‘ED staff’ throughout the online resource to reflect the diverse roles and professional backgrounds of people located within emergency departments around Australia.