In April, St. Catherine University’s simulation series was featured in a Pioneer Press article. The simulation, the first of three this year, was intended to provide healthcare students with hands-on opportunities to practice responding to mental health crises. The simulation series is a part of St. Kate’s Institute of Simulation and Interprofessional Learning (I-SAIL), a service-based program created to support healthcare simulation and interprofessional education across the School of Nursing, the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health Sciences, and the University as a whole.
The first training session focused on recognizing and responding to people in crisis due to high anxiety. Students practiced approaching patients, played by crisis actors, with different techniques to help de-escalate their emotions. The simulations are in part a response to the increasing number of mental health diagnoses on college campuses.
“It is a huge benefit to us to be able to be really aware of what could be going on with others around us and prepared to help,” said Olivia St. Martin, a master’s in occupational therapy student who participated in the simulation. “And also to be prepared to receive help. I think there’s something about if you know what somebody’s doing when they’re reaching out to help you, you’re more able to receive it.”
Two more simulation sessions will be held later this year: one on depression and suicidal ideation in September, and one on abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, and maltreatment in December. The sessions are free and open to all St. Kate’s students.