NZ abuse identification training to help Britons
University of Auckland psychologist Doctor John Read has been commissioned by the professional development journal of the Royal College of Psychiatry in England to describe the training programme.
Dr Read said: “Childhood physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect are extremely common experiences among those who suffer from serious mental illness .
“It is incumbent on all our mental health professionals to know how to ask about past abuse and how to respond appropriately.
“Sadly, this is still not the case, largely because of the over-emphasis on diagnostic labelling and medication.”
The one-day training programme has been running at the Auckland District Health Board since 2001.
Funding was currently being sought to make the same training programme available in Britain, Dr Read said.
“We are delighted that British psychiatry is taking the lead from Auckland in prioritising the taking of trauma histories when undertaking mental health assessments.”
The training programme was based on University of Auckland research on the relationship between abuse and severe mental health problems, including psychosis, he said.
Dr Read’s paper called “Why, when and how to ask about childhood abuse”, will be published in the March edition of Advances in Psychiatric Treatment.
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