Mental Health Nursing, as described by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, involves caring for people experiencing mental distress, which may have a variety of causative factors.
The focus of Mental Health Nursing is the establishment of a relationship with service users and carers to help bring about an understanding of how they might cope with their experience, thus maximising their potential for recovery.
Mental Health Nurses use a well developed and evidence-based repertoire of interpersonal, psychosocial and other skills that are underpinned by an empathetic attitude towards the service user and the contexts within which their distress has arisen. Mental health difficulties can occur at any age and service users may be cared for in a variety of settings, including the community and their own homes. They may require care for an acute episode or ongoing support for an enduring illness. Mental Health Nurses work as part of multidisciplinary and multi-agency teams that seek to involve service users and their carers in all aspects of their care and treatment.