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Mental Health Of Individuals And Communities

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Discuss the proposition that nurses are in a unique position to make a difference in the effort to improve the mental health of individuals and communities but to do so would require a fundamental rethink of mental health nursing thought and practice.


Blog Nursing on the Roles of Nurses in the improvement of the Mental Health of Individuals and Communities

Mental ill-health is one of the major issues of concern in the public health sector. Over the years, the Australian Department of Health has been facing a problem dealing with the mental disorders that affect the Australians. Some of the most serious mental illnesses in the country include, but not limited to anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, sleep disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, psychosis, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, personality disorders, suicidal feelings, self-harm, alcohol abuse, depression, panic disorder, and schizophrenia. These are the mental diseases that have been causing massive problems to individual Australians, families, and communities. However, despite the magnitude of the impacts of these disorders, the truth is that they can still be addressed if appropriate interventions are adopted. The nurses, as professional healthcare providers have a pivotal role in addressing the problem of mental ill-health in the country.   

Nobody can deny the fact the nurses are actually in a unique position to make a difference when it comes to the mitigation of mental illness in the country. If the nurses the nurses discharge their duties to the perfection, they can help in reducing or eradicating the cases of mental illness in the Australian families and communities (Carmel & Erickson-Schroth, 2016). As experts, the nurses can make their contributions felt in many ways. First and foremost, the nurses have educational skills that they can use to provide adequate and reliable mental health education to the individuals patients, families, and communities at large (Sheridan, 2017). Upon a successful completion of their course, the nurses emerge as primary healthcare providers as well as educators. Meaning, they have a capability and responsibility of offering teaching services on mental health. For example, the nurses can teach people about various mental illnesses, their causes, and management strategies that can be effective if applied (Melnyk, Gallagher?Ford, Long & Fineout?Overholt, 2014). Issues like stigmatization of the mentally-ill must be addressed because they have been derailing the fight against mental illness.

The other way through which the nurses can participate in the intensification of the war against mental illnesses is that they can help in providing treatment to the people with mental diseases. As a matter of fact, a large number of mental illnesses are treatable. However, the diseases have not been eradicated because their treatment has not been properly done (Blais, 2015). Hence, if the nurses are engaged in this, they can play a significant role in empowering the patients, giving prescriptions, therapies, and other forms of treatment that can be relied upon to eradicate mental illness in the community and the nation at large (Videbeck & Videbeck, 2013). If the nurses use their competencies to handle the mentally-ill patients well, they can be an invaluable asset in the war against mental diseases (Fortinash & Worret, 2014). As professionals, it is the nurses who are relied upon to assess patients, diagnose, and monitor them as they manage their conditions. If the nurses is charge these roles well, they can be of great help in the improvement of mental health in the country.


The nurses also hold a pivotal position in mental health of the nation because they can help in advocacy and can be involved in the mental health-related decision-making and policy formulation and implementation processes. As experts, the nurses an use their skills to engage in advocacy by agitating for the policy changes aimed at improving the welfare of the mentally-ill people in the society as well as the enhancement of the quality of mental health services provided to the members of the public (Santangelo, Procter & Fassett, 2018). The nurses can achieve this goal by using their professional association bodies to come together and speak with one voice as they seek to address certain issues such as mental healthcare, stigmatization, multicultural care, and the adoption of special mental health policy plans in the country Caplan, 2013). The nurses can serve the role of advocacy because they are professionals who are known to be experts and can have a voice on matters to do with mental health in the country.

In conclusion, the nurses are invaluable assets in the country’s healthcare system. If it were not for them, the quality of healthcare services would be quite discouraging. The role of nurses in the mental healthcare delivery cannot be underrated because, if it were not for that, the cases of stigmatization, mental health mismanagement, high prevalence of mental illnesses, and mental health-related mortalities would be on the rise. All these are being addressed because the nurses have been ready to educate the patients, treat them, and advocate for their rights as much as they can. That is why the country has been making major steps in the eradication of mental illnesses. Nevertheless, in order to achieve all these, the nurses must be motivated and provided with a supportive working environment that can enable them to prioritize the needs of the patients and do everything within their capacity to improve their mental health status. 



Blais, K., (2015). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives. New York: Pearson.

Carmel, T. C., & Erickson-Schroth, L. (2016). Mental health and the transgender population.

Psychiatric Annals, 46(6), 346-349.

Caplan, G. (Ed.). (2013). An approach to community mental health (Vol. 3). Routledge.

Fortinash, K. M., & Worret, P. A. H. (2014). Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing-E-Book. New

York: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Melnyk, B.M., Gallagher?Ford, L., Long, L.E. & Fineout?Overholt, E., (2014). The

establishment of evidence?based practice competencies for practicing registered nurses

and advanced practice nurses in real?world clinical settings: proficiencies to improve

healthcare quality, reliability, patient outcomes, and costs. Worldviews on

Evidence?Based Nursing, 11(1), pp.5-15.
Santangelo, P., Procter, N., & Fassett, D. (2018). Mental health nursing:

Daring to be different, special and leading recovery-focused care? International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27 (1), 251-266.

Sheridan, A. J. (2017). Historical overview of psychiatric/mental health

care. In: E. L. Yearwood & V. P. HinesMartin (eds.), Routledge handbook of global mental health nursing Milton Park, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 19-33.

Videbeck, S., & Videbeck, S. (2013). Psychiatric-mental health nursing. New York: Lippincott

Williams & Wilkins


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