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Mental health professionals face higher assault risk

The Associated Press (8/4, Rubinkam) reports on “the hazards mental health professionals face on the job.” Mental health professionals “are at far greater risk of assault than workers as a whole, an occupational hazard at the best of times and one that’s been made worse by a persistent lack of funding for mental health services, the loss of thousands of inpatient psychiatric beds and the increasing use of hospitals to temporarily house criminals with mental illness.”

Safety guidelines published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for healthcare workers, including mental health professionals, recommend “metal detectors, enclosed nurses’ stations, multiple exits, furniture bolted to the floor in crisis treatment rooms, curved mirrors at hallway intersections and a variety of other steps.”

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