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ItemMental health first aid for Indigenous Australians: using Delphi consensus studies to develop guidelines for culturally appropriate responses to mental health problemsHart, LM ; Jorm, AF ; Kanowski, LG ; Kelly, CM ; Langlands, RL (BMC, 2009-08-03)BACKGROUND: Ethnic minority groups are under-represented in mental health care services because of barriers such as poor mental health literacy. In 2007, the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program implemented a cultural adaptation of its first aid course to improve the capacity of Indigenous Australians to recognise and respond to mental health issues within their own communities. It became apparent that the content of this training would be improved by the development of best practice guidelines. This research aimed to develop culturally appropriate guidelines for providing first aid to an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental illness. METHODS: A panel of Australian Aboriginal people who are experts in Aboriginal mental health, participated in six independent Delphi studies investigating depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts and behaviours, deliberate self-injury, trauma and loss, and cultural considerations. The panel varied in size across the studies, from 2024 participants. Panellists were presented with statements about possible first aid actions via online questionnaires and were encouraged to suggest additional actions not covered by the survey content. Statements were accepted for inclusion in a guideline if they were endorsed by > or = 90% of panellists as essential or important. Each study developed one guideline from the outcomes of three Delphi questionnaire rounds. At the end of the six Delphi studies, participants were asked to give feedback on the value of the project and their participation experience. RESULTS: From a total of 1,016 statements shown to the panel of experts, 536 statements were endorsed (94 for depression, 151 for psychosis, 52 for suicidal thoughts and behaviours, 53 for deliberate self-injury, 155 for trauma and loss, and 31 for cultural considerations). The methodology and the guidelines themselves were found to be useful and appropriate by the panellists. CONCLUSION: Aboriginal mental health experts were able to reach consensus about culturally appropriate first aid for mental illness. The Delphi consensus method could be useful more generally for consulting Indigenous peoples about culturally appropriate best practice in mental health services.
ItemDevelopment of mental health first aid guidelines for suicidal ideation and behaviour: A Delphi studyKelly, CM ; Jorm, AF ; Kitchener, BA ; Langlands, RL (BMC, 2008-03-18)BACKGROUND: Suicide is a statistically rare event, but devastating to those left behind and one of the worst possible outcomes associated with mental illness. Although a friend, family member or co-worker may be the first person to notice that a person is highly distressed, few have the knowledge and skills required to assist. Simple guidelines may help such a person to encourage a suicidal individual to seek professional help or decide against suicide. METHODS: This research was conducted using the Delphi methodology, a method of reaching consensus in a panel of experts. Experts recruited to the panels included 22 professionals, 10 people who had been suicidal in the past and 6 carers of people who had been suicidal in the past. Statements about how to assist someone who is thinking about suicide were sourced through a systematic search of both professional and lay literature. The guidelines were written using the items most consistently endorsed by all three panels. RESULTS: Of 114 statements presented to the panels, 30 were accepted. These statements were used to develop the guidelines appended to this paper. CONCLUSION: There are a number of actions which are considered to be useful for members of the public when they encounter someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts or engaging in suicidal behaviour. These guidelines will be useful in revision of curricula of mental health first aid and suicide intervention training programs. They can also be used by members of the public who want immediate information about how to assist a suicidal person.
ItemFirst aid guidelines for psychosis in Asian countries: A Delphi consensus studyJorm, AF ; Minas, H ; Langlands, RL ; Kelly, CM (BioMed Central, 2008-02-21)BACKGROUND: Guidelines for how a member of the public should give first aid to a person who is becoming psychotic have been developed for English-speaking countries. However, these guidelines may not be appropriate for use in other cultures. A study was therefore carried out to examine whether it was possible to achieve consensus on guidelines that could apply in a range of Asian countries. METHODS: A Delphi consensus study was carried out with a panel of 28 Asian mental health clinicians drawn from Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The panel was given a 211 item questionnaire about possible first aid actions and asked to rate whether they thought these should be included in guidelines. Panel members were invited to propose additional items. RESULTS: After three Delphi rounds, there were 128 items that were rated as "essential" or "important" by 80% or more of the panel members. These items covered: recognition of psychosis, encouraging and assisting the person to seek help, how to interact with the person, responding to acute psychosis, responding to aggression, and what to do if the person refuses to get professional help. CONCLUSION: Despite the diversity of the countries involved, there was consensus on a core set of first aid items that were considered as suitable for assisting a psychotic person. Future work is needed to develop guidelines for specific countries.
ItemDevelopment of mental health first aid guidelines for deliberate non-suicidal self-injury: A Delphi studyKelly, CM ; Jorm, AF ; Kitchener, BA ; Langlands, RL (BMC, 2008-07-23)BACKGROUND: It is estimated that around 4% of the population engages, or has engaged, in deliberate non-suicidal self-injury. In clinical samples, the figures rise as high as 21%. There is also evidence to suggest that these figures may be increasing. A family member or friend may suspect that a person is injuring themselves, but very few people know how to respond if this is the case. Simple first aid guidelines may help members of the public assist people to seek and receive the professional help they require to overcome self-injury. METHODS: This research was conducted using the Delphi methodology, a method of reaching consensus in a panel of experts. Experts recruited to the panels included 26 professionals, 16 people who had engaged in self-injurious behaviour in the past and 3 carers of people who had engaged in self-injurious behaviour in the past. Statements about providing first aid to a person engaged in self-injurious behaviour were sought from the medical and lay literature, but little was found. Panel members were asked to respond to general questions about first aid for NSSI in a variety of domains and statements were extracted from their responses. The guidelines were written using the items most consistently endorsed by the consumer and professional panels. RESULTS: Of 79 statements rated by the panels, 18 were accepted. These statements were used to develop the guidelines appended to this paper. CONCLUSION: There are a number of actions which are considered to be useful for members of the public when they encounter someone who is engaging in deliberate, non-suicidal self-injury. These guidelines will be useful in revising curricula for mental health first aid and NSSI first aid training programs. They can also be used by members of the public who want immediate information about how to assist a person who is engaging in such behaviour.