Chris Hawley, Ankush Singhal, AG Roberts, Heather Atkinson, Caroline Whelan
Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 3, Iss. 6, 03 Jun 2011, pp 304 - 312

Mental disorders are common and frequently present in emergency and
prehospital settings. Conditions presenting to emergency care services include new onset psychiatric disorder, relapse or exacerbation of a pre-existing psychiatric condition, acute reactions to social adversities or problems associated with substance misuse. Although the advanced management of such conditions requires considerable therapeutic sophistication, paramedical services can contribute greatly to the initial management of such patients. In the second of a two article series on mental disorders, this article will provide guidance on the early assessment and management of bipolar disorder, psychiatric conditions in women, parasuicidal behaviours, acutely disturbed patients and substance misuse disorders. Some relevant legal issues in mental health are also discussed.

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