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Title: Disproportionate mental health presentations to emergency departments in a coastal regional community in Australia of first nation people
Authors: Higgins, Oliver ;Sheather-Reid, Rachel B ;Chalup, Stephan K;Wilson, Rhonda L 
Affliation: Central Coast Local Health District
Gosford Hospital
Issue Date: 26-May-2024
Source: Online ahead of print
Journal title: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Department: Mental Health
Abstract: Emergency department (ED) presentations for mental health (MH) help-seeking have been rising rapidly in recent years. This research aims to identify the service usage demographic for people seeking MH care in the ED, specifically in this case, to understand the usage by First Nation people. This retrospective cohort study examined the sociodemographic and presentation characteristics of individuals seeking MH care in two EDs between 2016 and 2021. Data were collected using existing records and analysed using descriptive univariate analysis with statistical significance between the two sites determined using chi-squared test, pā€‰<ā€‰0.05. The overall data presented in this analysis show an overall ED mental health presentation rate of 12.02% for those who identified as 'Aboriginal but not Torres Strait Islander origin', 0.36% as 'Both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander' and 0.27% as 'Torres Strait Islander' totalling 12.63%. This is an overrepresentation compared to the regional population of 4.9%. One site recorded 14.1% of ED presentations that identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, over double the site's demographic of 6.3%. Given the disproportionately high representation of First Nation people in MH-related ED presentations, further research is required to prioritise a First Nation research perspective that draws on First Nation research methods, such as yarning and storytelling to understand the unique cultural needs and challenges experienced by First Nation people accessing MH care via ED. Understanding the demographic is but one step in supporting the Cultural Safety needs of First Nation people. Additionally, research should be designed, governed and led by First Nation researchers.
DOI: 10.1111/inm.13362
Publicaton type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Mental Health

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