BLS: An Extraordinary Mind: The Basics of Mental Illness

BLS: An Extraordinary Mind: The Basics of Mental Illness

Intended Audience: BLS, ALS, Nurses, First RespondersLearning Methods Used:  Video, Lecture, Discussion, Pictures, Q&A

Mental Health Awareness is becoming a hot topic due to the lack of access to counseling and inpatient beds available for those afflicted with a mental illness.   This presentation is a basic overview of the most common types of mental illness we may see in an EMS / Fire setting.   Depression, Suicidal Ideation, Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar and the reactions we may see with medications such as Catatonia and Dystonic Reaction.  The overall intention of this presentation is to help providers understand what someone with a mental illness has to deal with on a daily basis and gain a different perspective on the challenges they face. 


  1. List at least three ways to develop a rapport with a patient who has a mental illnessd
  2. Define “Support System”
  3. List at least two alterations in your body language when having a conversation with your patient
  4. Differentiate between Hallucinations and Delusions
  5. Define “Decompensation” and “Escalating”
  6. List the three things to evaluate when someone with Suicidal Ideation says he/she has a plan.
  7. List the criteria for defining the cycles of Bi-Polar
  8. Understand why patients who have a mental illness are reluctant or unable to get the help they need including counseling, emergency access or medications.

Instructed by: Janet Taylor

May 6, 2020 – 1500 to 1600
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