A Safe Room is where all the cords and tubing are managed away from the patient where their bed is comfortable but safe, but not able to harm themselves. Supplies for staff are readily available for emergencies but not readily available for patients. Long-term, we can serve hundreds of patients in this room.
"Mental Health has become a bigger problem for all communities. We see it (in the Emergency Room) daily, sometimes multiple times in a day, from children to the elderly," stated Dr. Tim Evert, ER Physician at BCH.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults or roughly 600,000 Iowans live with some form of mental illness. About 37,000 grapples with serious mental illness daily.
Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year in lost productivity.
21% of people experiencing homelessness also have a severe mental illness.
37% of people incarcerated in state and federal prisons have a diagnosed mental condition.
70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental health condition.
1 in 8 of all visits to U.S. emergency departments are related to mental health and substance abuse disorders.
People with serious mental illness have an increased risk for chronic diseases like diabetes or cancer.
18% of U.S. adults with mental illness also have a substance abuse disorder.
Mental health symptoms have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. From September 29 – October 11, 2021, 31.6% of adults in the U.S. and 27.2% in Iowa reported anxiety and/or depressive disorder symptoms. This statistic is up from 11.0% in 2019.
Lisa Paige, Director of Inpatient Services, notes, "Often we get patients who have primary mental health needs who come into our ER, and they have medical conditions as well. They are admitted to the Hospital, and then we use telepsychiatry during the medical treatment." Emergency Room Director, Carla Chow, adds, "In a crisis, safety is the most important thing for our patients and the staff."