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Diagnostic-Specific Patient Education

The diagnostic-specific handout is meant to inform the patient about their diagnosis, the common symptoms that may be experienced with the diagnosis, and the available treatment options for remedying the symptoms. Specific handouts on diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and substance use disorders, should be developed and distributed to the appropriate patients.

Community Resources Information

A community resources handout can be developed and distributed to any and all patients that have specific needs that they are having difficulty meeting. This handout should include contact information (addresses and phone numbers) for resources, such as housing or shelter authorities, public transportation, food lockers, low- to no-cost medical clinics, domestic violence organizations, substance abuse treatment (Alcoholic’s Anonymous or Narcotic Anonymous), and the Social Security Administration.

Therapeutic Handouts

The therapeutic handouts should be in alignment with the information presented in the diagnostic handouts. The format can be either an individual therapeutic activity or group-based activity, which can be utilized in a DPOA within the ED. Common helpful therapeutic handout topics include mindfulness skills, cognitive-behavioral skills, and dialectical behavioral skills.

Patient Rights and Advocacy Group Information

These handouts should include information on county, state, and federal patient advocacy groups and a list of patient rights. It is important to note that some of the rights of the patient may be temporarily suspended if the treatment team decides that the patient needs to be placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold. The patient should be provided with a handout explaining what rights they retain while on the involuntary hold. Contact information for community advocacy groups, for example National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or Mental Health America, should also be included in this handout. The medical center or hospital system’s patient complaints and grievances department contact information can also be added.

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