Community Mental Health Nurses
Specialist Mental Health Nurses can work in hospital or in the community.
Around a third of people are expected to experience a mental health condition at some point in their life. Mental Health Nurses work with other health professionals to support those people, building trusting relationships with them, helping them to adhere to treatment programmes and advising on therapies and lifestyle choices that support good mental health.
More information can be found here: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/nursing/mental-health-nurse
Wendy Sumpton, Queen’s Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service writes:
‘As a clinical nurse specialist working in a child and adolescent mental health service, I see children of all ages up to 18. I work autonomously but also as part of the team, which can include psychiatrists; psychologists; and occupational, family and play therapists. We assess, diagnosis and treat children who have mental health problems, at their home or in a clinical setting.
The term ‘mental health’ has been stigmatized by all parts of society, but it should not be glossed over by disguising it with other terms such as wellbeing, or emotional state.Wendy Sumpton QN
‘We often talk about early identification and intervention. People begin to question that when it’s applied to children’s mental health, especially if the child in question is under five. The term ‘mental health’ has been stigmatized by all parts of society, but it should not be glossed over by disguising it with other terms such as wellbeing, or emotional state.
‘We all have ‘mental health’, and the children we see have ‘mental ill health’. To break this down further, it is necessary to look at the contextual components of a child’s overall health. This starts with gathering information from the parents, family and social networks. A detailed assessment is also undertaken, looking at the child’s pregnancy, birth and early life. All this information is then processed to help identify emerging problems.
‘Once a diagnosis is made interventions with the child and family can begin. Parents sometimes need to challenge and change their thoughts around ‘what is mental health’, to enable them to enact a change in their child. Working together with parents and the wider network connected to the child can reap rewards and may prevent further treatment in future.
‘Access to the child and adolescent mental health service usually needs a referral from a GP, who will first do a preliminary mental health assessment. In some areas referrals may be accepted from other professionals in health, education and social care.’