A fundamental change in the role of mental health nurses, from
symptom control to social inclusion and recovery, has been outlined
by the government.
The move away from a “narrow focus” on psychiatric symptoms to a
more holistic approach to care is set out in a consultation
document on the future of mental health nursing.
It calls for an expansion in the number of mental health workers
able to provide psychological therapies and an increased focus on
nurses promoting social inclusion and supporting people’s spiritual
Recognising the problems facing many in-patient wards, the report
suggests enhancing the role of support workers to give nurses more
time to develop therapeutic relationships with patients.
Brian Rogers, professional officer at the Mental Health Nurses
Association, which was involved in drafting the consultation, said
it was an opportunity for nurses to define their future role in a
positive way and use their skills to work creatively with service
The consultation runs until 21 October, and a full report will be
produced by the end of the year.
Consultation document from