NURSING DISCIPLINE – MENTAL HEALTH BRANCH From the 16th Century mental health patients were contained in asylums until mental health hospitals were introduced during the 1950’s. Sometimes people who were a disruptive or were only reacting in a normal way to difficulties in their lives were ‘put away’. Often patients were excessively medicated and subject to treatment which would be totally unacceptable today such as ‘muffling’ or being put in a ‘swing chair’. In the 1960’s, inadequacy and cost resulted in mental health hospitals closing and care moving to general hospitals. Patients who were allowed home at the weekends recovered more quickly and therefore care increasingly moved to the community (Hannigan and Coffey 2003), where most people with mental health problems are cared for today (NHS 2010). Legislation such as the 1959 and subsequent 1983 Mental Health Act, and the Care Community Act (1990) are relative to modern community mental health nursing. In 1999 the Government confirmed mental health was a top priority in the Health Service (Jackson & Hill 2006). Since then guidelines such as the Department of Health guidance (2003), the National Service Framework for Mental Health (1997) and the NHS Plan (2000) (cited in Jackson et al 2006) have been introduced to reform and improve services for people with mental health problems and their carers. The Department of Health have also investing significantly in inpatient mental health settings due to issues such as a not enough beds being available, the lack of privacy and dignity of patients and wards not supporting provision of self care (DOH 2009). As a result many new opportunities have been created for mental health nurses over the last few years, for example the modern matron and nurse consultant, and new skills have been developed, such as nurse prescribing and psychosocial interventions (Brimblecombe 2009). Mental health nurses will work with children and adults who suffer with various mental health problems. The primary role being to form therapeutic relationships with patients (sometimes called clients) and their families to help them recover from their illness and promote independent living (NHS 2010). Mental health nursing is varied and complex, for example treatment may include conventional nursing interventions such as administering drugs and injections or it may be to encourage patients to take part in art, drama or occupational therapy. In order to care for people in a fair and anti- discriminatory way and deliver care holistically, mental health nurses need to have good knowledge of the theories of mental health and illness, psychological and biophysical sciences and personality and human behavior (Hannigan et al 2003). One in four people will suffer with a mental health illness at some point during their life and one in twelve will require medical intervention (Mind 2010). Women are 1.5 times more likely to suffer with anxiety and
depression whilst men are more likely to suffer from substance abuse and anti social personality disorders. For some patients a mental illness is
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- Fall '16
- Ms Nosheen