Bigger picture: Congress debate can get lost in translation

The interests and views of patients should be central to debate about mental health issues.

The interests and views of patients should be central to debates about mental health issues.

In recent years, it has been suggested that resolutions at RCN congress rarely spark debate.

With this in mind, the RCN Emergency Care Association (ECA) put forward a motion with the RCN Mental Health Forum that emergency departments (EDs) should no longer be seen as designated places of safety for people in mental health crisis.

Both groups imagined this would create a healthy discussion, which ECA chair Janet Youd began with a powerful poem that portrayed sympathetically a patient’s journey in the ED.

When the motion was opened to the floor, one of the themes of debate was that, while EDs are not the best place for people in mental health crisis, there must be an adequate alternative. Many speakers offered personal experiences of how inappropriate


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