Issues In Mental Health Nursing


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Self Care And Mental Well Being

Mental Health Problems In Nursing

Organizations must provide support for self-care and well being to address systemic issues and then have a systematic review and integrative review of solutions. To reduce mental distress among nurses evidence based resources can be provided. They should also offer evidence-based interventions, including mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral skills, and overturning negative thinking. A nurses mental health can improve with peer support as well as appropriate compensation. Offering coping skills and a safe place to discuss issues such as workplace bullying and medical errors can begin to address the root causes of these problems and create supportive environments for nursing professionals.

Mental Health Care For Psychiatric Nursing

Mental health issues can be a huge burden for those in mental health nursing on psychiatric mental health units. Work performance and personal mental health are imperative. To cope with personal mental health conditions for mental health nursing, registered nurses are encouraged to utilize their own health insurance to find solace in counseling or therapy for themselves.

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Populations That Are Vulnerable To Cumulative Stress

Some populations can experience more cumulative stress on average than others.

Because of their higher likelihood of experiencing single parenthood and balancing parenting and careers, women often experience more accumulated stress that can lead to lasting mental health problems and other illnesses.

And because the field of psychology was initially dominated by men and was not always open to other voices, we have ground to make up in understanding and effectively supporting females in their experiences of stress.

In addition, some groups, such as BIPOC , LGBTQ+, immigrants, people living in poverty, and people with disabilities, can be particularly susceptible to accumulated stress due to the increased likelihood of experiences like food or shelter insecurity, discrimination, institutionalized racism, accessibility issues, or other challenging circumstances.

Conduct Mental Health Screenings

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Nurses already know the importance of mental health screenings. After all, they perform them on patients all the time.

But what about nurses? Is anyone checking in with them to make sure they are in a good place mentally? Unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is a resounding no.

One way to provide nurses with mental health support is to conduct routine mental health screenings.

Mental health screenings involve a range of things including, but not limited to:

  • Physical evaluation from a medical doctor
  • A small amount of blood work
  • Specific questions from a mental health practitioner
  • Paper questionnaires

Mental health screenings can help hospitals and other facilities know how to best support their nurses and can help nurses know how to care for themselves.

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Descriptive Of The Scales

The results showed no differences between language groups, regarding distribution, correlation, or internal consistency. Each scale exhibited very good internal consistency over all languages, with total Chronbachâs Alpha .91 for RHS-13 , .91 for PHQ-9 , .92 for GAD-7 , .96 for PCL-5 , and .86 for ISI-7 . All scales were intercorrelated, r ranging from .64â.86 . Symptom burden was generally high , with mean scores close to, or above, moderate symptom levels on all scales. RHS-13 showed a mean of 22.27 , the mean for PHQ-9 was 12.92 , for GAD-7, 9.72 , for PCL-5, 35.57 , and finally, for ISI-7 it was 13.59 . Comorbidity was also very high, with as many as 433 individuals with moderate symptoms on two or more scales, of which 248 had moderate symptoms on all scales.

Table 2 Tier 1 analysis. Sensitivity and specificity from the Tier 1 screening using full scale screeners for mild, moderate, and severe symptoms of Depression , Anxiety , PTSD , and Insomnia as reference standard

Laws And Public Health Policies

There are many factors that influence mental health including:

  • Mental illness, disability, and suicide are ultimately the result of a combination of biology, environment, and access to and utilization of mental health treatment.
  • Public health policies can influence access and utilization, which subsequently may improve mental health and help to progress the negative consequences of depression and its associated disability.

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Why Is Managing Mental Health In A Nursing Home Important

From adjusting to life in a long-term care facility to dealing with conditions like Alzheimers and dementia, maintaining good mental health can be tricky for nursing home residents.

According to a study from the American Geriatrics Society , between 65% and 90% of nursing home residents have a mental or behavioral health problem.

Even worse, some elders may fall victim to nursing home abuse and it might not always leave physical marks. Emotional or verbal abuse can lead to long-term health issues like anxiety and depression.

Thankfully, nursing home residents and their loved ones can take steps to nurture their mental health. Many nursing homes have access to psychologists and mental health resources so older adults can get the support they need.

Further, older adults and their families can pursue financial compensation through a lawsuit if emotional abuse causes serious harm. A lawsuit can also hold the abusive or neglectful nursing home responsible for its actions.

Mental Health Issues For Nurses

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Mental health issues ranging from burnout, depression, and anxiety are effecting nurses at an unprecedented rate. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate the rate of mental health issues in nurses, Create Health Care Management has diligently been working with hospitals to empower nurses well-being and reduce the mental health crisis caused by stressful work environments and create systemic change. High workload is one of the leading cause of mental health problems among the general population of nurses. In addition to workload, the global shortage of nurse leaders stands at 5.9 million. In order to combat this situation, increased investment in nursing training and professional development is suggested for private and public health systems. While each hospital system faces unique needs the development of effective interventions to improve nurses well being is vital.

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Provide Mental Health Resources

No matter how much employers encourage self-care or mandate mental health screenings, some nurses will need additional support and that is okay.

A great way to support nurses mental health is to provide mental health resources.

There are countless online resources, from support groups to blogs, to financial aid.

If you are an administrator, consider taking some time to create a list of applicable resources to share with your staff. You can include some of the apps and websites mentioned in this article as well as other resources you might find.

You might also consider offering therapy, app subscriptions, or other resources as part of your benefits package. Remember, nurses can only give so much, and many are running on empty. Caring for your nurses is just as important as caring for your patients.

If you are a nurse struggling with your mental health, remember there is nothing wrong with you. You are not failing to live up to the right standard. You are still a great nurse. Needing support doesnt lessen your worth.

If your employer does not provide you with resources, look into them for yourself. Taking charge of your own mental health can be an important step in healing.

If you find yourself in crisis, there are several resources available immediately:

The Importance Of Teaching Nursing Students How To Cope With Their Mental Health

Jan 3, 2023 | Blog, Nurse Health, Nursing Students

Weve seen the statistics showing that nurses and future nurses need mental well-being more than ever.

With healthcare staffing shortages all over the country, healthcare facilities and consumers cannot afford to lose more nurses. At the root of it is that nursing is an incredibly stressful profession, with 63% of nurses reporting significant workplace stress, 70% saying they put the safety and well-being of the patient above their own, and 31% reporting a workload assignment higher than which they felt comfortable .

In addition, 29% of nurses reported feeling sad, down, or depressed for two weeks before the pandemic, with an increase to 34% during the pandemic .

So how do educators ensure future nurses dont enter the workforce without the skills to cope with the demands of the job? Modeling support for students in nursing school is the start for future nurses to learn resilience through the challenges of school so that they can manage the stress throughout their nursing career.

Nursing school is a demanding career path and one of the most challenging programs. Students enter the field from diverse backgrounds and often with many personal struggles from academic challenges, medical conditions, strenuous family responsibilities, mental health challenges, and even prior traumas.

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Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

Psychiatric mental health nursing takes a unique individual. Psychiatric nursing usually involves working on a psychiatric unit or in an environment that faces crisis intervention and mental health challenges daily. The PMH-APRN role is growing in mental health care. Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses are licensed or credentialed to practice as mental health nursing professionals. These nurses may be certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in psychiatric mental health, as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or as Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Titles may differ depending on the state in which you practice.

Common Mental Health Issues In Long

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Nursing home residents can suffer from many mental health issues. They may even suffer from several mental health problems at once.

Mental health problems among residents include:

DepressionVarious studies have found that anywhere from 20% to almost 50% of nursing home residents suffer from depression, according to McKnights Long-Term Care News.

Common symptoms of depression include negative changes in mood, behavior, or sleep. Older adults may also suffer from concentration problems, confusion, and restlessness.

While depression is a serious condition, it is treatable. Older adults can connect with a psychologist or social worker to start treatments. Medications can also be used alongside therapy.

AnxietyNursing home residents may suffer from anxiety if they are put into stressful situations. This can include suffering a severe injury or illness, losing a loved one, or even moving into a nursing home.

Signs of anxiety include worrying about daily activities and physical symptoms like fatigue or nausea. Others may experience panic attacks, post-traumatic flashbacks, and fear of certain activities in some cases.

Anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with other mental health conditions like depression and dementia. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 25% of nursing home residents suffered from anxiety or depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Educating Students On Mental Health

My career goal has been to combat the stigma of mental illness. The Chamberlain CARE® model has further inspired me to support students through nursing school to become strong and compassionate nurses. As a faculty of mental health nursing, it is crucial to educate students on mental health because every patient and family member they meet will likely experience some form of anxiety.

When patients and families come in, they often deal with a long list of emotions from apprehension about a diagnosis, severity of the condition, recommended treatment, long-term implications, and even future medical bills. When experiencing this anxiety, the patients and families may display uncharacteristic behaviors as they try to cope with an unpredictable and stressful situation.

It is important to remember the feelings of fear and anxiety people have when seeking healthcare services, as these can be their most vulnerable moments. As nurses, we are in hospitals routinely and become comfortable with the environment. However, we are generally not the ones dealing with an illness or injury and facing uncertainties. Therefore, all nurses must interact with patients compassionately and without judgment.

Staying Mentally Healthy In Nursing Homes

Though many nursing home residents suffer from mental health problems, you can take steps to stay as healthy as possible.

Keeping in touch with friends and family, staying physically active, and reaching out to psychologists or social workers can all go a long way in reducing the risks.

Further, if you or a loved one may have suffered from emotional nursing home abuse, make sure to report it as soon as possible. Filing a report can ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and that your loved one can recover.

Get a free case review to get help if your loved one was emotionally neglected or abused in a nursing home. You can pursue legal help and get the resources you need to stay mentally healthy.

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The Warning Signs Of Stress

When cumulative stress becomes a long-term problem and builds up to the point of causing mental health issues, it will usually manifest as one or more of the following symptoms. Cognitive symptoms could include difficulty concentrating or processing, difficulty maintaining memory, lower self-confidence, difficulty making decisions, and more.

In addition, emotional changes and symptoms might include sustained moodiness, irritability, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, increased anxiety or depression, feelings of guilt, or inability to relax.

The Importance Of Mental Health In Nursing

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Nurses are the backbone of the medical profession. Whether youre an LPN, RN, or APRN, you are an indispensable part of the team. You know how to handle high-stress situations. You make critical decisions on a daily basis. You heal patients, comfort frightened families, and handle complex systems with grace & skill.

Thats the ideal. But the modern world and a global pandemic have conspired to make nursing an increasingly difficult profession.

  • Understaffing, bureaucratic overload, extended working hours, increased liability, and toxic workplace environments have become a huge drain on mental health.
  • Burnout, depression, and anxiety are rising fast in medical workplaces.
  • And doctors and nurses arent being screened for mental health risks in the same way as patients.

If youre struggling with your mental health or worried about the stigma of speaking up, remember:

  • Heroes arent needed in healthcare environments humans are.
  • Caregivers must be cared for in order to take care of others.
  • Working with the sick requires a healthy mind and healthy body.
  • Sleep, nutrition, exercise, social support, and self-care come first.

Skim through the guide or skip to the list of mental health resources. It includes details on helplines, peer-to-peer support groups, free therapy sessions, and more.

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Reasons For Nursing Burnout

Many nurses experience burnout at some point in their careers. Nurses in all stages of practice exhibit symptoms of burnout. While there are many reasons why this occurs, the most common are work-related stress, unrealistic expectations, and inadequate sleep. Nurses who work in high-stress environments may be more susceptible to the ill effects of burnout than their peers. In addition to these negative effects, the resulting depression and anxiety can have serious consequences for the patient care given. While the effects of stress on staff may vary, a key factor to preventing burnout is developing strong relationships with senior nursing leaders. As a leader, a person must know how to identify the warning signs of burnout and provide support to their nursing staff. Nurture an environment where nurses feel comfortable communicating with leadership, and the staff will appreciate the efforts used to prevent burnout in nursing. These are some of the most effective strategies for preventing burnout among nurses.

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The Dangers Of Ptsd & Nurse Burnout

As a result of this sustained pressure, nurses are experiencing a) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and b) burnout.

  • PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects people who are exposed to potentially traumatic episodes. Symptoms can include intrusive memories & nightmares avoidance of thinking or talking about the events negative changes in thinking & mood and changes in physical & emotional reactions .
  • Burnout: Burnout is the result of chronic workplace stress. Symptoms can include being constantly tired or exhausted feeling alienated and mentally distant from ones job and finding it difficult to concentrate, handle job responsibilities, or get excited about ones work.

Nurses increasingly feel exhausted, underappreciated, and at risk of making errors. And theyre responding by stepping away.

  • Hospitals have been experiencing labor shortages throughout COVID-19, with nursing staffing being an area of key concern.
  • In a 2021 study on COVID-Related Stress and Work Intentions, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2 in 5 nurses said that they were moderately likely to leave their current practice. The statistics are just as bad in the UK, especially in NHS hospital settings.

If healthcare institutions dont prioritize the mental health of their nurses and doctors, they wont have anyone left to care for patients.

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Training & Intervention Programs

Institutions are also beginning to offer mental health programs that are designed to provide nurses with resilience training. Examples of these independent interventions include:

  • OSU: MINDBODYSTRONG: An evidence-based, orientation program led by trained facilitator that provides a workbook-based, 7-session cognitive behavior therapy program for new nurses and other clinicians.
  • WHO: Self-Help Plus : A group-based, 5-session stress management intervention course thats designed to teach stress management skills.
  • Osmosis Nursing Resilience Course: An interactive e-learning course on mental health training thats designed to help participants cope with stressors in & outside of a nursing environment.

Nursing schools have their part to play in these efforts. RNs and APRNs who have been exposed to therapy and are trained in resilience & self-care strategies are going to be better prepared for the work that lies ahead.

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