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Change in policy and practice in psychiatric hospitals in Finland

Mental Health actress

Professor Mary Chambers is at the forefront of the international online education and training resource ePsycheNurse.net for mental health nurses. Drawing on experiences from nine European countries, the project aims to give nurses the therapeutic tools to manage distressed and disturbed people in psychiatric hospitals and inpatient units sensitively and effectively.

Throughout the project, Professor Chambers has worked closely with nurses in Finland, which has a more formal approach to mental health nursing, with people in psychiatric hospitals sometimes being restrained or placed in seclusion. As part of the training, nurses were able to interact with virtual patients, developed with input from mental health service users, to practise responding to real-life clinical scenarios. The use of restraint tools such as straps has now been completely eliminated and the number of instances of people being placed in seclusion has significantly reduced in Finnish hospitals where nurses received the training.