Mental Health Nursing

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Mental Health Nursing



I would take this opportunity to thank my research supervisor, family and friends for their support and guidance without which this research would not have been possible.


I, [type your full first names and surname here], declare that the contents of this dissertation/thesis represent my own unaided work, and that the dissertation/thesis has not previously been submitted for academic examination towards any qualification. Furthermore, it represents my own opinions and not necessarily those of the University.

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In this study we try to explore the concept of “Mental health nursing” in a holistic context. The main focus of the research is on “nursing” and its relation with “Mental health”.

What is already known about the topic?

• Mental health nursing literature commonly cite the need to take a holistic approach to assessment and care.

• No national survey has taken place to identify views as how best to support holistic interventions by mental health nurses.

What this paper adds

• An insight into the views of a large number of organisations and groups as to how to support holistic practices in mental health nursing.

• A resource for those planning to develop mental health nursing practice.

1. Background

Nurses are found working in mental health services in most countries around the world, although the numbers specialising in this form of care vary hugely from an estimated mean of .7 per 100,000 population in South East Asia to 34.5 in Europe (WHO, 2005a). Within Europe, there is considerable variation between countries in both numbers of nurses and the training required to prepare them for their role in mental health services (Nolan and Brimblecombe, in press). The United Kingdom (including England) has one of the higher ratios of mental health nurses (MHNs) to population, with approximately 104 nurses (MHNs) per 100,000 population (WHO, 2005a). In 2005, the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England announced a review of mental health nursing and a national consultation to support this.

The CNO Review was established in response to a range of recent or planned changes including: developments in the structure of mental health services (Department of Health, 1999), national guidelines on clinical practice (e.g. National Institute for Clinical Excellence, 2003; National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2004 and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2005), reviews of the future focus of other mental health professions (e.g. Department of Health, 2005a), modernising health careers (e.g. Department of Health, 2004a) and planned changes in mental health law. The primary aim of the CNO Review was to answer the question 'how can mental health nursing best contribute to the care of service users in the future?'

Definition of Health Promotion

Health promotion, protection, prevention, and screening are four terms that are used in discussions of improving the health of citizens, yet agreement as to the relationship of these terms is varied. In the nursing literature, primary prevention includes those activities of health promotion that prevent injury and disease, such as wearing seat belts and obtaining immunizations. Secondary prevention involves the early detection of problems ...
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