Mental health nursing
Mental health nurses support the recovery of people of all ages and cultures with mental health problems of varying severity that may include anxiety, depression, experiences of hearing voices, confusion and impaired cognitive functions.
It is thought that one in three people suffers some form of mental health problem at some point in their life. This may be due to a crisis such as depression after the death of a loved one, or through drug or alcohol problems.
As a mental health nurse you'll work in a team of health and social care professionals and in partnership with clients and their families to promote recovery and social inclusion. You'll work collaboratively with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, GPs and colleagues from the independent sector and voluntary agencies.
Students learn through a wide range of dynamic experiential activities including role play, skills simulation work, pair work, small group work, and input from clinical specialists and lecturers. The simulation of mental health scenarios provides students with realistic environments in which to develop their skills.
Mental health nurses work in NHS services in hospitals, prisons, community clinics, residential centres and in people's homes. The NHS is also investing in the provision of counselling services in GP surgeries for patients with mild mental health problems. There are opportunities to specialise in areas such as addiction, child and adolescent services, eating disorders, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, rehabilitation, forensic mental health and services for the older person with a mental health problem.
“I have been a mental health nurse since 1986. Numerous challenges and developments have taken place in the education of nurses to deal with the complexities of cases presented by people experiencing mental health issues. Undertaking the mental health nurse training at Kingston University and St George's, University of London provides an opportunity to build a strong foundation as a clinician for future developments.”
Harjinder Sehmi, senior lecturer in mental health nursing