Kim Ryan (October 25)

Registered Nurse, Mental Health Nurse, Graduate Diploma Health Services Management, Adjunct Associate Professor, Kim Ryan Consulting

Presenting on: Monday October 25

Session Title: Australia’s Police, Ambulance, Clinician Early Response (PACER) Team; Working together to support those in a mental health crisis. 

Session Description: PACER standing for ‘Police, Ambulance and Clinical Early Response.’ is a mental health emergency response program established to run in partnership with mental health, police and ambulance services to assess and help people of all ages experiencing a mental health crisis in the community.  The program includes going quickly to mental health-related incidents in the community, as first responders to a call for service. Working with the identified individual person in distress, family members, carers, and other supports a mental health assessment is completed, crisis plan established and an early intervention enacted. Quick and appropriate referrals for further mental health support through mental health support services in the community’s response then put in place. This presentation will describe benefits to the mental health consumers, emergency response teams, and emergency departments. Education, support, and collaboration have been critical elements of the early success of the PACER model; This paper describes the early days of PACER in Australia and discusses the strengths and weaknesses identified to date. 

Speaker Biography: Kim Ryan has been a mental health nurse for over thirty years and most recently the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. In 2016 won the Inaugural Australian Mental Health Prize, presented by the Prime Minister for her dedication to improving mental health in Australia.  She is passionate about improving the health of people with mental health conditions and raising the communities understanding of mental health.  In particular challenging the misconception that people’s mental and physical conditions should be treated separately. Kim is currently working with the International Council of Nurses to address mental health issues through the nursing profession.