Emergency services and mental illness

Public health Mental health Australia
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What do people affected by a mental illness and carers say about the help they receive from emergency services? What is needed to improve the response of police and ambulance services, mental health crisis teams, and hospital emergency departments when someone has a mental health crisis?

About this study

A survey was conducted between November 2012 and January 2013, using a convenience sample of 606 responses to an anonymous questionnaire accessed via Most respondents were female (77%) and aged predominantly 25-49 (36%). The diagnoses reported most frequently were depression (27%), bipolar disorder (18%), schizophrenia (15%), anxiety disorders (11%), and personality disorders (7%). The survey was intended to investigate the experience of respondents when they had used emergency services for an urgent mental health concern. Results have been used to identify barriers to effective care, and to make recommendations for improvements.

This two-page article summarises the results.


Publication Details