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26th Annual National Collegiate EMS Conference

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Suicide and Other Psychiatric Emergencies on Campus

High profile incidents involving suicide and psychiatric emergencies at colleges across North America have heightened the concerns of mental health issues among college students. As the first responders on many college campuses, collegiate EMS squads are often called on to deal with the dual nature of psychiatric emergencies-their first concern being the safety and health of the patient; and the second concern being the effect of suicide attempts on EMS providers, especially when patients may be personally known or otherwise familiar (i.e. “he’s in my organic chemistry lab section”) to EMS students. The purpose of this presentation will be to review the research surrounding psychiatric emergencies on campus; discuss various suicide prevention programs on campus; and provide practical tips both for dealing with immediate nature of psychiatric emergencies and the aftermath of suicide attempts on collegiate first responders.


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