In her 17 years as an emergency medical technician, Julie-Anne failed to understand, or empathize with, mental illness. When depression struck her, she refused to acknowledge it; believing it to be a “flaw,” or “weakness.” After a near-fatal suicide attempt, when chemical imbalances were corrected, Julie-Anne finally understood mental illness. Because she has been on “both sides of the cot,” Julie-Anne now translates the incomprehensible in an easy-to-understand session. This session includes: - Real life experience in dealing (or failing to deal) with patients suffering from mental illness. - Understanding the physiology of mental illness and how it impacts patient perception. - Best practices for communicating with, treating and transporting those with mental illness. - Assessing suicide risk. - Differentiating between mental illness and more life-threatening emergencies. - Utilizing outside resources. - The realities of PTSD, depression and suicide risk in emergency responders. - Maintaining a safe, confidential and healthy workplace, where responders may seek help and resources without fear.