WayAhead is concerned that mental health nurses, particularly in rural and remote areas, are in short supply. Often, nurses with only general training are filling these specialist roles and may not have the skill base and knowledge to appropriately address complex mental health issues, such as dual diagnosis – when a person suffers from both mental health and substance abuse issues.
Mental health nursing is a specialised area of nursing that requires post registration training, including the theoretical and clinical components of mental health. It involves care of not only the person with the illness, but their families and carers as well. Nurses are involved in planning, delivery and evaluation of all aspects of mental health care at State and Federal levels.
Mental health Nurses are an essential part of the health service and operate in a wide variety of settings such as psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics and facilities, emergency, general wards, forensic hospitals, as well as the home environment. They work in conjunction with community health and mental health teams.
We are particularly concerned that this lack of specialised nursing may be affecting patients’ recovery, and we support ongoing training and recruitment of Mental Health Nurses, regardless of their location
We applaud the dedication and commitment of all our nurses and want them all to receive the support and education they need to deliver the best possible care to mental health patients.
Elizabeth Priestley, CEO