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Help for patient ‘on the edge’ who attend A&E

Jo Carlowe

Friday, 2 March 2012

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A new leaflet has been issued for patients who are ‘feeling on the edge’.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has produced the handout for people who are admitted to Emergency Departments. Health professionals can give the leaflet to people who are in a state of distress, and who they believe may be at risk of harming themselves.

The leaflet provides reassurance that there are people who want to listen, understand and help. It explains clearly and simply what will happen if a person goes to see a specialist mental health service, and how to get support. It also provides a detailed list of support organisations for people who are distressed, who self-harm or are experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Dr Alys Cole-King, a consultant liaison psychiatrist who authored the leaflet, said: "Many people in emotional distress are not aware of all the excellent support that is available and accessible. This leaflet is intended to instil hope in, and compassionately engage with, people who attend the Emergency Department following self-harm or with suicidal thoughts, and encourages them to stay in hospital to complete their healthcare journey. It also explains the help that different support organisations can provide."

The leaflet, Feeling on the edge? Helping you get through it, has been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Samaritans and CALL Helpline (Wales).

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