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An A & E for mental illness and distress

January 10, 2014

Medical News Today has an interesting article on a Chicago service run by volunteers called "The Living Room’. It provides emergency services to people in mental distress, but unlike a hospital A&E it provides a homely comfortable environment, which unsurprisingly is more conducive to recovery from mental distress.

"Hospital emergency departments are not set up for people with emotional problems. Most people with emotional distress come from a chaotic environment and need a safe or calm space to receive proper attention and treatment," said Mona Shattell, a co-author on a paper published in the journal Issues in Mental Health Nursing titled "A Recovery-Oriented Alternative to Hospital Emergency Departments For Persons in Emotional Distress: ‘The Living Room.’"
"Patients who were treated in The Living Room were able to successfully manage their emotional crises, which was less expensive, emotionally intensive or as intrusive as being treated in an emergency room," said Barbara Harris, assistant professor at DePaul’s School of Nursing and another co-author of the study. "This doesn’t mean that medical treatment is not needed, but sometimes, the emotional distress or crisis that results from the intersection of illness and life situations can be addressed without drastic medical intervention or hospitalization."
Findings from this qualitative study are being reviewed by other institutions in Illinois as a treatment option for a recovery-based alternative to hospital emergency departments for people in emotional distress. The conclusions drawn from the study are supported by empirical and anecdotal evidence that suggests that nonclinical care settings, such as The Living Room are perceived as helpful and positive.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270939.php

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