In responding to the comments, ACEM would like to make it unequivocally clear that emergency healthcare workers care deeply about people experiencing mental distress or trauma who seek help in emergency departments, and their carers.
The delays for people experiencing mental distress or trauma who seek help in emergency departments are an indicator of widespread healthcare system failure, particularly a lack of mental health beds in EDs and hospitals.
These delays are harmful to people who need care, and to staff working in emergency departments who suffer moral injury when they are rendered unable – due to deficits in the system they work within – to provide an appropriate level of care to people experiencing psychological distress.
Improving the acute care provided to people experiencing mental health difficulties will require the entire healthcare sector working collaboratively, with each other and with consumers and carers.
ACEM and RANZCP share a productive history of working together towards our aligned goal of achieving improvements in the acute mental healthcare system.
ACEM will be reaching out privately to Professor Emmerson and RANZCP to discuss this matter further.