Mental health tips for nurses + their patients

03 Dec 2019
Christine Hancock

Mental health tips for nurses + their patients

As RCN Professional Lead for Mental Health, Catherine Gamble, noted during our webinar, it is remarkable that ten years ago we would not have been able to have this important conversation about mental health of nurses and their patients. Not shying away from sensitive issues is at the heart of C3’s work with health professionals (for another example see our NURSING YOU programme).

C3, in collaboration with Pfizer, designed and delivered Opening Doors: Addressing the mental health of nurses and their patients as one webinar in a short series on prevention and management of chronic disease.

This webinar focused on enabling nurses, in whatever area they practice, to identify the opportunities they have to create a patient-centred approach in which they can discuss and respond to mental health issues with patients they meet in their practice context.

 

 

Why mental health for nurses and their patients?

Non-communicable (chronic) diseases (NCDs) – cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory diseases – often co-occur with common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. Risk factors for NCDs such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful alcohol use also frequently cluster in people with mental disorders. Most studies continue to suggest that less than half of those experiencing mental health problems will access support and treatment.

Nurses work globally in contributing to the health and well-being of society. Considered in public opinion polls worldwide to be the most trusted professionals today, they play a crucial role in shaping and delivering healthcare. Their public credibility means they have a strong influence and impact on the population as well as key responsibilities in strategic planning and policy within national and international healthcare systems and programmes.

C3’s work has shown that when clinical staff learn more about their own health, then it will have a direct positive effect on the care they give to patients. This education, allied to enabling nursing staff to access mental health support through effective occupational health, is a key stage in preparing the clinical workforce to be able to realise opportunities for discussing this with patients. School nurses – for example – can support mental health and wellbeing initiatives for children but only if we train them to confidently use opportunities to engage with children on sensitive issues around mental health and enable them to have the professional confidence as a group to articulate this as an essential element of their role.

 

 

Webinar speakers

  • Tom Sandford: C3 associate in mental health; former executive director Royal College of Nursing England

 

  • Dr Steve Boorman: Director Employee Health Empactis / Chair Council for Work and Health

 

  • Yvonne Coghill: Royal College of Nursing deputy president

 

  • Catherine Gamble:RCN Professional Lead for Mental Health and Head of Nursing Practice, Education and Research, South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust

 

  • Michaela Nuttall: C3 associate in nursing, C3 associate in nursing, cardiovascular nurse specialist, Deputy National Lead for CVD Prevention at Public Health England, Director for Smart Health Solutions

 

  • Jocelyn Cornwell: Chief Executive of the Point of Care Foundation

 

View our health professionals portfolio for more of our projects, including NURSING YOU and a film about supporting nurses’ own health.