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Mental Health and AOD Education Month – Week 5

February 28, 2022

Mental Health and AOD Education Month – Week 5

To conclude our five week program of promotion, education and training, this week our topic is Distraction and Calming Strategies and Tools and their use in Western Health Emergency Departments.

Distraction and calming interventions assist patients to engage in their senses or activity-based stimuli as coping strategies to self-soothe, or regain motivation. For staff, this can support de-escalation measures, or improve patient engagement during assessment and treatment. Note that while patients with mental health and/or AOD care needs might often benefit from distraction and calming, these strategies are intended to benefit any patient in ED if the need is appropriate.

*New* Pastime Packs

Launching next Monday March 7th, a distraction and calming tools bundle we’re calling the Pastime Pack will be available at Footscray and Sunshine EDs.

This week please refer to new Western Health Guidelines and our Educational Webinar for an explanation of how to use the Pastime Pack with patients in ED.

Please take a moment to view this short video presentation from Victoria Howes, Mental Health Nurse Navigator at Sunshine Hospital ED, discussing the contents of the pack, how to document its use and safe hand hygiene practice.

Please click this link to access the video.

Staff References

In relation to Distraction and Calming Strategies and Tools, ED Leadership would like to direct your attention to these tools and resources:

These Western Health Guidelines support the use of Pastime Packs in Footscray and Sunshine EDs. Please refer to this for guidelines around appropriate patients, as well as storage, inventory and access.

This staff guide summarises the above Guidelines. Images are included in the Appendices for your reference.

As always, you’ll find staff resource links collected on the The Mental Health and AOD Education and Support page on unitED for your future reference.

Thursday Webinar

This week’s webinar panel includes Angela Mazur, Chief Occupational Therapist, NorthWestern Mental Health.

This webinar is open to all ED staff and volunteers. A Q&A segment will follow the presentation. This webinar will be recorded.

Please see the details below to join the webinar at 2:00pm this Thursday, March 3rd:

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Meeting ID: 991 5723 7795

Passcode: 127924

– Be safe – be smart – be kind, the unitED Team –

– To review previous News bulletins, please see here. – 

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