Mental health nursing



Publication Details

Moxham, L., Robson, P. & Pegg, S. (2012). Mental health nursing. In A. Berman, S. Snyder, B. Kozier, G. L. Erb, T. Levett-Jones, T. Dwyer, M. Hales, N. Harvey, Y. Luxford, L. Moxham, T. Park, B. Parker, K. Reid-Searl & D. Stanley (Eds.), Kozier and Erb's Fundamentals of Nursing (pp. 1220-1246). Frenchs Forest, N.S.W: Pearson Australia.


Throughout Australia and the world, nurses encounter many people with mental health problems both in inpatient settings and in the community. The increased number of people with emotional and psychological disorders places a large burden of care on nurses, some of whom do not have the necessary specialised education and understandmg regarding such clients' nursing needs. Up to one-half of the general population meet the criteria for one or more lifetime International Classification of Diseases (ICD) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and up to one in five people carry a DSM or ICD diagnosis at anyone time m their lives (Kessler et al. 2010). Because mental illness is so prevalent in the community, knowledge and skills relating to mental health care are necessary and useful across all areas of nursing and midwifery practice. Mental health problems are even more common within the general health care system. This includes, but is not limited to, meeting and nursing people who have a mental illness in environments such as the emergency department, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Services (ATODS), surgical and medical units, critical care units, maternity, outpatients, day surgery, baby health clinics, GP surgeries, paediatrics, community health, sexual health clinics and X-ray departments.

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