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Mental health training for Australian undergraduate paramedic science students: A review
journal contributionposted on 24.10.2021, 22:43 by Shannon C King, Amanda RebarAmanda Rebar, Paul OliveriPaul Oliveri, Robert StantonRobert Stanton
Purpose: This paper aims to present the current state of evidence regarding the mental health literacy of paramedics and student paramedics and whether mental health literacy affects the care that paramedics provide to their patients with mental illness. Design/methodology/approach: Embase, PubMed, Medline and Google Scholar were searched for recent (2010–2020) English language published articles using the key phrases paramedic AND/OR ambulance AND mental health AND mental health literacy. Additional searches of the reference lists of included articles were undertaken. A descriptive thematic analysis was used to arrive at a narrative synthesis of the study findings. Findings: The emergency medical services system has taken a primary role in the care of patients with mental illness but has limited capacity for non-emergency psychosocial situations. Negative and judgemental attitudes amongst paramedics towards patients with mental illness is a significant issue and remains a barrier to patients seeking medical care for mental illness. Improved care provision and patient engagement might result from specific education aimed to better enhance paramedics’ mental health literacy. Originality/value: This literature review provides insights into the current practice of mental health training for Australian undergraduate paramedic science students and the implications for patient care. Recommendations for educational strategies are provided.