Mind supports Frontline First
Posted Wednesday 1 December 2010
Originally posted on the Frontline First blog.
Mind supports the RCN’s Frontline First campaign because of the vital mental health care provided by nurses.
Mental health is a core part of the health and wellbeing of our society. One in four people will experience mental distress at some point in their lives and the cost of mental health problems stands at £105bn in England alone. The World Health Organisation has estimated that by 2020 depression will be the second largest single cause of ill health in the developed world. And it is mental health nurses who make up the majority of staff providing therapeutic care, particularly to those with more serious problems.
Frontline staff work in a range of diverse settings and have a number of different skills to help people’s recovery. Psychiatric liaison nurses based in emergency departments assess and support people who have harmed themselves. Mental health nurses in crisis resolution and home treatment teams work with people in acute distress who would otherwise have to go into hospital. Those nursing staff in hospital care for people at their most distressed and vulnerable.
Nursing professionals have diverse skills, some are trained in providing particular therapies, some specialise in particular mental health conditions such as eating distress. Nurses in community teams are welcomed as a lifeline or reach out to people who reject services.
Mind’s Care in Crisis campaign is investigating the state of acute mental health services; difficulties accessing care and the importance of continuity are two of the many themes people are raising with us. The economic downturn is likely to increase the demand for mental health services even more.
There are already problems in parts of the acute care sector but these only become more difficult to resolve if services and their nursing staff are stretched further. Research into acute care shows that therapeutic contact with staff increases service user satisfaction. The mental health nursing frontline needs to be supported to provide that.
Allison Cobb, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer
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