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Hamish Fibbins, Philip Ward, Robert Stanton, Jeanette Thom, Amanda Burdett, Oscar Lederman and Simon Rosenbaum
Physical activity is increasingly recognised as critical to improving physical and mental health (MH). Understanding the education and training requirements of exercise…
Physical activity is increasingly recognised as critical to improving physical and mental health (MH). Understanding the education and training requirements of exercise professionals will support better integration of these emerging MH professionals within the multidisciplinary MH team. The purpose of this study was to determine the exposure to, knowledge and attitudes of final year exercise physiology students towards people with mental illness (MI).
Student exposure to and knowledge and attitudes of people living with MH were assessed via a 24-item online questionnaire.
In total, n = 63 out of 78 eligible students participated (81%). Of the participants, 81% (n = 51) showed a favourable attitude towards people with MI and 68% (n = 43) of participants had good knowledge of topics relating to MI. Significant correlations existed between the total score for attitude and any exposure to MH issues and having undertaken placement as part of university training and knowledge and total scores. Further training and education are needed to better equip exercise physiology graduates to work with people with MI.
This is the first study to examine the attitudes and knowledge of exercise physiology students towards people living with MI and their association with exposure to MI. Given the growing number of exercise professionals being integrated into multidisciplinary MH teams, this study may help to direct the delivery of associated training and education services.
Shannon C. King, Amanda L. Rebar, Paul Oliveri and Robert Stanton
Australian paramedics regularly encounter patients experiencing mental illness. However, some paramedics hold negative attitudes towards the use of emergency services in…
Australian paramedics regularly encounter patients experiencing mental illness. However, some paramedics hold negative attitudes towards the use of emergency services in providing care for these patients. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the mental health literacy (MHL) of Australian paramedic students, and the training and experiential factors associated with MHL.
A cross-sectional online survey was delivered to paramedic students across Australia. A total of 94 paramedic students completed the survey examining MHL, mental health first aid (MHFA) intentions, confidence in providing help, personal and perceived stigma and willingness to interact with a person experiencing mental illness.
Participants generally had poor MHFA intentions in spite of good recognition of mental health disorders and good knowledge about mental health. Participants also demonstrated low stigmatising attitudes towards mental illness; however, they expressed a lack of willingness to interact with a person experiencing mental illness.
Our findings propose a combination of work-based experience and specific MHFA training may be beneficial to paramedic students to improve care for patients experiencing mental illness.