TALK2ALL IN A DRUG OVERDOSE SITUATION: A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO DISSOLVE THE LANGUAGE BARRIER DURING A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS

Raja Sadhu

Abstract


The United States is currently facing a well-documented mental health crisis. In 2015, 127,500 Americans died from drug overdose or alcohol-related causes or suicide. This translates into 350 deaths per day, and one person dying of a preventable cause every four minutes. This crisis, which continues to worsen, is affecting the services in the emergency departments (EDs) particularly hard. This is due, in part, to the fact that EDs are one of the last remaining safety nets in the community. One in eight visits to the ED is related to a mental health or substance abuse issue, a number that has been increasing every year for the past decade. And yet, EDs are not prepared: they remain poorly equipped to address these individuals’ needs because of a variety of issues, including regulations, policies, training, culture, stigma about a mental health issue, and the lack of integration and connectivity to other settings in the community. Importantly, the patients may often be in a semiconscious state or inebriated state, and they may not be native English speakers. Limited English language proficiency becomes a major issue in providing care to these subjects. A highly novel Android app, Talk2All, is making major difference in the care of these patients. Talk2All is a team effort, where this particular innovative application in emergency substance abuse disorder management is being led and being provided “thought leadership” by Dr. Nawal Singh Shekhawat, a physician investigator with practice located at Baptist Health Center in Conway, Arkansas. Dr. Shekhawat has earlier popularized motivational technologies to promote smoking cessation (see pleasequit.org and the Android app Please Stop).


Keywords


OVERDOSE, continues, connectivity

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References


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