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Mental Health

Overview

Mental health nursing is often complex, demanding and very rewarding. As many as one in three people are thought to suffer some form of mental health problem. However, dealing with the human mind and behaviour is not an exact science. Mental ill health is often brought on by a crisis in life such as depression after the death of a partner. However, depression is just one of the range of conditions that come under the heading of mental ill health. There are also neuroses, psychoses, psychological and personality disorders.

Therapeutic relationships between the mental health nurse, those with mental ill health, and their families is critical to successful mental health nursing. Helping people back to mental health is also every bit as valuable and satisfying as caring for those with a physical illness.

Core qualities and skills

Your main tool as a mental health nurse will be the strength of your own personality and communication skills. You will need to empathise with the people you are dealing with and show warmth and care about them. Regrettably there is still some stigma attached to mental illness. Combating this and helping the individuals and their families deal with it is a key part of the job.