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Major Mental Health Illnesses: What EMT Class Doesn’t Teach You

This training came from a conversation that was had with a group of EMTs following a psychological trauma class. Understanding the concrete parts of major mental illnesses is shown to increase confidence and ability to manage unpredictable situations. By exploring the specific pieces of major mental health illnesses (e.g., depression, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis) and debunking myths or social beliefs, providers will be able to better engage those presenting with these concerns. It discusses myths and offers real knowledge that is relevant to the first response field.

Stephanie Leather

Stephanie Leather


1. Understand the concrete parts that make up major mental health illness and myths versus

facts of each

○ This section will focus on the societal understanding and bias of those with mental

illness. It will be widely spent with a discussion on the attendees own thoughts

and initial reactions of psychiatric patients.

2. Gain a better knowledge for typical presentation of major mental illnesses in a

comprehensive and applicable way

○ This section will break down each of major mental health illnesses and the clinical

criteria for each. Nuances and specific presentations will be explored in order to

prepare the provider for potential interactions with these patients.

3. Learn ways to better interact with and provide care for those patients experiencing any

manifestation of these and other mental health illnesses.

○ Clinical recommendations will be offered for engaging those patients with mental

health illness and will offer an opportunity to discuss previous interactions and

explore what worked for those attendees and what could have been improved.

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