Deakin University

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Perceptions of crisis care in populations who self-referred to a telephone-based mental health triage service

journal contribution
posted on 2016-04-01, 00:00 authored by Natisha SandsNatisha Sands, Stephen Elsom, S Keppich-Arnold, K Henderson, P A Thomas
Although psychiatric crises are very common in people with mental illness, little is known about consumer perceptions of mental health crisis care. Given the current emphasis on recovery-oriented approaches, shared decision-making, and partnering with consumers in planning and delivering care, this knowledge gap is significant. Since the late 1990s, access to Australian mental health services has been facilitated by 24/7 telephone-based mental health triage systems, which provide initial psychiatric assessment, referral, support, and advice. A significant proportion of consumers access telephone-based mental health triage services in a state of crisis, but to date, there has been no published studies that specifically report on consumer perceptions on the quality and effectiveness of the care provided by these services. This article reports on a study that investigated consumer perceptions of accessing telephone-based mental health triage services. Seventy-five mental health consumers participated in a telephone interview about their triage service use experience. An eight-item survey designed to measure the responsiveness of mental health services was used for data collection. The findings reported here focus on the qualitative data produced in the study. Consumer participants shared a range of perspectives on telephone-based mental health triage that provide invaluable insights into the needs, expectations, and service use experiences of consumers seeking assistance with a mental health problem. Consumer perceptions of crisis care have important implications for practice. Approaches and interventions identified as important to quality care can be used to inform educational and practice initiatives that promote person-centred, collaborative crisis care.



International journal of mental health nursing






136 - 143




London, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Wiley