Physicians’ perspectives on processes for emergency mental health transfers from university health clinics to hospitals in Ontario
In this study, researchers in Ontario conducted qualitative interviews with physicians working at University health clinics in order to determine their perspectives on mental health crisis transfer protocols between Universities and hospitals. They found some variability in the processes for emergency mental health transfers among the Universities, with police being commonly involved in 7 out of the 11 schools studied, and handcuffs being always or almost always used during transfers at 2 of the clinics. The three major themes identified were:
– police involvement and restraint use can cause harm
– clinical considerations are used to justify police involvement and restraint use
– and pragmatic, nonclinical factors often inform transfer practices.