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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Safety in Psychiatry - The Mind's Eye (DVD Training Pack)

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Price: £90.00

College members' price: £81.00

Published: Sep 2008

Format: 22 min film & 18 page info booklet (20 copies)

ISBN: 9781904671589

Safety in Psychiatry - The Mind's Eye (DVD Training Pack)

Consists of: 22 min film on DVD, 20 copies of 18 page information booklet and 1 set of tutor notes (6 pages).

This film shows everyday examples of threatening incidents which doctors can readily identify with. The high-quality production techniques combined with atmospheric location work and use of real stories give the film an immediacy that ensures high observer involvement.


Improving safety awareness is more about how people think about situations than about memorising information. Focused small-group discussion triggered by carefully selected and memorable case examples is therefore likely to be the most effective way of developing safety awareness, especially when this is reinforced by a systematic approach to safe practice as laid out in the accompanying booklet.


Although best used in combination with tutor-led small-group discussion, the film and the accompanying booklet are self-contained, and can also be used as resource material in a library or self-learning room.


  • This is the same product as the College's popular video training pack of the same title (from the year 2000), but reformatted to DVD.
  • It is suitable for anyone involved with training or tutoring trainee psychiatrists, plus those looking to refresh awareness of qualified professionals already undertaking clinical practice.

Summary of the Film


  • States the aim of the film: to make clinicians aware of the issues. 
  • Encourages them to report violent incidents and stresses that it is not a sign of weakness to do so. 
  • Observes that whilst being a victim of violent incidents may be an occupational hazard for psychiatrists, they should learn to predict the signs of impending violence and this ought to become second nature.
  • Contains the definition of a ‘violent incident’.

Case Examples

There are three real-life case examples.  Each follows the format whereby actors play out the situation, then both the psychiatrist involved and the narrator comment on how it was handled and give some advice on how this could have been improved.  Many practical tips for use in everyday practice are given throughout these scenes.


Example 1

A male psychiatrist is called to assess a distressed female patient in A&E who is demanding to be admitted to hospital.  There are no medical notes about her available and her body language and verbal tone become increasingly aggressive during the interview.


This example examines the issues of whether or not a case history is known, the pros and cons of using an isolated interview room and the security issues associated with interview rooms.


Example 2

A female psychiatrist has to interview a male adolescent patient in a community-based clinic.  Although his mother is present, he kicks out and shows violence towards items in the room.


This example discusses issues of personal safety when carrying out interviews in locations away from the hospital; such as home visits and community centres.


Example 3

A male psychiatrist has heard rumours that one of his female patients is ‘out to get him’.  He has received threatening letters and nuisance calls from her.  She manages to follow him in the hospital grounds and then confronts him in his office.


This example considers issues relating to the privacy of doctors’ personal information, such as home address or telephone number and the safety of family members.  It touches on how to deal with stalking and discusses the importance of security measures in hospital buildings.

Information Booklet

This backs up much of what is said in the film, including some extra useful suggestions.  The advice is all written in a systematic way.


  • Introduction
  • Safety legislation
  • Trust’s safety induction
  • Personal precautions
  • Buildings and site
  • Safety policies and procedures
  • Safety during interviews
  • Procedure to be followed after a violent incident
  • Important learning points
  • Appendix
  • References and recommended reading

Tutor Notes

These give extra guidance for tutors, recommending that the film be used as part of a training session lasting between 1 and 1½ hours.  It contains suggested discussion points relating to each of the three case examples and cross-references to the relevant pages in the information booklet.

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Please note that this price includes VAT at 20%.

This is applicable for multimedia products (DVDs, CD-ROMs, audio CDs and tapes).

"Aims to introduce psychiatric trainees and other health care professionals to the vital elements of safe working practices, and does so with the aid of a set of teaching materials that are first rate in their content and highly professional in their production…the film is excellent.  Invaluable for anyone wishing to provide structured induction training in personal safety awareness and security measures.  For anyone carrying responsibility for the safety of trainees, there can only be one message: buy, buy, buy!"
 - Psychiatric Bulletin

Packs of 20 copies of the information booklet can also be purchased as a separate item.