Collateral information can help when transporting someone for a mental health evaluation who is a substance user.
The miscommunication between public safety and providers is prevalent when it comes to mental health crises. Federal laws like HIPAA have set roadblocks for two-way conversations.
So how can we make sure that the person gets the best treatment for the mental health concern seen when we dropped them off at the hospital?
Relay information, as much as you can to the nurse or doctor that is completing the intake. Get collateral information from friends and family members that know the person and provide the contacts for those people to the provider. Have they had a mental health diagnosis or concern prior to substance use? When not using substances are they a danger to themselves or others? Ask the person what medications they are taking. If the medications are mental health related then articulate the concern about the pre-existing condition to the provider.
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