Introducing Mental Health Nursing: A Consumer-Oriented Approach

Introducing Mental Health Nursing: A Consumer-Oriented Approach

Introducing Mental Health Nursing: A Consumer-Oriented Approach

Introducing Mental Health Nursing: A Consumer-Oriented Approach

Excerpt

This is a mental health nursing textbook unlike others you may have seen. We hope our somewhat different approach to discussing mental health nursing provides a fresh and exciting perspective from which to commence your study of this specialised field. Throughout the text, we have sought to address comprehensively the attitudes, knowledge and skills required by nurses to provide care for consumers experiencing mental health problems across all health care settings, with a particular emphasis on mental health services.

What is also different about the text is that it does not follow a traditional biomedical format where nursing care is discussed in terms of psychiatric diagnosis. Many texts state that mental health nursing involves an appreciation of, and response to, the uniqueness of each individual experiencing a mental health problem, yet they reflect a biomedical approach. These texts generally devote chapters or part thereof to psychiatric diagnoses and present nursing interventions as dependent on diagnoses rather than the specific and individual needs of the consumer. While a biomedical perspective reflects a prevailing approach to mental health care, it is not the only or indeed most appropriate approach to take in a text which is about the science and art of mental health nursing and which recognises the lived experience of mental health consumers. In this text therefore, while we have included the biomedical approach, we have also included a social model of health and emphasised consumers' individual experience of mental health problems. We have also placed particular focus on the nurse as a vital member of the mental health team with an active role in facilitating the recovery of individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

The five authors of this Australian based text are four mental health nurses (Brenda Happell, Leanne Cowin, Kim Foster and Rose McMaster) with considerable experience in both practice and academia, and a consumer of mental health services (Cath Roper). A number of other nursing and mental health texts include the . . .

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