Mental Health Nursing

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Mental Health Nursing

Mental health has been a topic that has gained popularity in the 21st century and especially during the Covid -19 pandemic. Countries are battling with ways to increase ways to educate their citizens on the importance of promoting mental health and ousting the negative perceptions around people suffering from mental conditions. At the centre of this topic is the role of nurses in promoting mental health and the required nursing skills that are needed for a nurse to achieve positive outcomes with a mental health patient.

An article on experience of mental health service users by Newman and other writers forms the basis of understanding the role of nurses in improved mental health. The article highlights the relationship between the service providers of mental health and the user of such services. Three themes emerged from this study and that is the need to acknowledge a mental health problem so as to seek help, creating relationships between the patient and the nurses through participation in care and the constant working towards continued care for mental health patients. In the study the authors noted the overarching importance of the relationship formed between the nurses as mental health service providers and the patients(Newman, O’Reilly, Lee & Kennedy, 2015). This result from the study calls for a shift in in the nurse-patient care that will include the facilitation of a true service-user engagement in the aim to achieve mental health care.

There are different skills that are required for the achievement of creating better nurse-patient relationships in mental health care for the improvement of a patient’s condition as envisioned by the article. The role of critical thinking as a skill for the nurse involved in mental health care cannot be over-emphasized. Critical thinking for a nurse is important and especially with mental health as it helps in dealing with the complex and culturally diverse health needs of the patients(Carson-NewmanUniversity Online, 2020). Different mental conditions require different treatment plans and this calls for high levels of critical thinking from the nurse. Critical thinking is also a key component of professional accountability in the nursing profession.

As part of the treatment and care plan for mental health problems, nurses are required to set goals that will help in the recovery of the patient as well as making the patient remain accountable to the treatment plan. The goals set in the treatment plan are identified by the patient through a collaborative discussion with the nurse as the medical professional(Garcia, Freitas, Lamas & Toledo, 2017). These goals will depend on the professional, personal, social, psychological and educational levels of the patient. It is while setting these goals that the nurse creates a bond with the patient as part of the recovery process. The nurse is required to engage with the patient in the setting of goals to establish a rapport with the patient and also to gauge the ability of the patient to adhere to the set goals.

Clinical decision by the nurse for better outcomes of the patient is guided by moral, ethical, legal and professional standards within the nursing profession. These standards also guide the relationship formed between the nurse and the patient in the attainment of mental health. Though moral standards vary between different individuals, the nursing profession sets ethical guidelines to standardize the nursing practice across the country. Nurses and by extension all medical professional are bound to ethical values to promote human dignity, autonomy, integrity and social justice(Balamurugan, 2015). However, it is not uncommon for mental health care nurses face ethical issues relating to seclusion and use of restraint for patients who may be violent and hence a danger to themselves and other hospital users. Such issues may conflict the ethics of the nurse and interfere with the relationship between the nurse and the patient.

Legal implications also play a role in the relationship between the nurse and mental health care patients. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), requires a nurse to preserve the protected health information of a patient from being publically accessible. The privacy of the records of mental health patient is important as such patients suffer stigmatization from the community which may affect their likelihood to seek medical help. The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 also addresses the issues of the mentally challenged persons in regards to confidentiality and their relationship with legal processes as well as the benefits accruing to people with mental illnesses (Bipeta, 2019).


Mental health care is a critical topic in the medical spheres and especially in relation to creating safe spaces and healthy environments to address patients with mental health issues. The health departments need to capacity build nurses on how to deal with the treatment of mental health challenges as these are the basic medical caregivers in the health sector. The diverse nature of mental health conditions also creates the need to have nurses trained on how to deal with different mental health care conditions to enable them analyze the best treatment plan based on individual needs of the patient. It is also important for more research to be carried out on the areas of strengthening the role of the nurse in dealing with mental health care as a bulk of this cases are left to psychologists and psychiatrist who may not be readily available or such patients.




Balamurugan, G. (2015). Ethical Issues in Mental Health Nursing. In State level conference on ethical issues in nursing. Bangalore: Ramaiah Institute of Nursing Education and Research. Retrieved from

Bipeta, R. (2019). Legal and Ethical Aspects of Mental Health Care. Indian Journal Of Psychological Medicine41(2), 108-112. doi: 10.4103/ijpsym.ijpsym_59_19

Carson-NewmanUniversity Online. (2020). The Importance of Critical Thinking in Nursing. Retrieved 10 November 2020, from

Garcia, A., Freitas, M., Lamas, J., & Toledo, V. (2017).Processo de enfermagemnasaúde mental: revisãointegrativa da literatura. RevistaBrasileira De Enfermagem70(1), 220-230. doi: 10.1590/0034-7167-2016-0031

Newman, D., O’Reilly, P., Lee, S., & Kennedy, C. (2015). Mental health service users’ experiences of mental health care: an integrative literature review. Journal Of Psychiatric And Mental Health Nursing22(3), 171-182. doi: 10.1111/jpm.12202