How to help distressed students: specific training program in the community

Poster B90, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Sylvie Berney1, Veronique Beretta1, Benedicte Gailland1, Philippe Conus1; 1General psychiatry service, Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland

Purpose: University students present more psychological distress than non-students population of the same age. They often do not seek proper treatment, mainly because of difficulties to access care as well as economic obstacles. When in distress, students interact in first line with university staff (receptionists, secretaries, deans, social workers, etc.) for whom it is of importance to know how to deal with such situations, to give appropriate advise and to orientate students in the mental health care network. Materials and Methods: In order to facilitate the access to mental care, we developed a specific training program for non-health care professionals who deal with students in distress. We first discussed participants’ needs in term of skills and education. We then constructed a four hours training in 3 main parts: (1) Role play based on a specific real life vignette transmitted by the participants, (2) Group discussion on common preconceptions and knowledge on psychological distress and psychiatric disorders, (3) Information on access to mental health care. Results: This program began in March 2014, 70 staff members participated so far and 80 more will by July 2016. Satisfaction rates on the training course are high. This training has an impact on the collaboration between psychiatric services and university services, with more students in distress being addressed to mental health care. Conclusion: Non-health care professionals working at the university benefit from a short training on students’ psychological distress. This program contributes to early detection of psychiatric troubles among the young adult population.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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