Introduction to Improved Mental Health in Nursing 

Last updated May 9, 2024
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Hi everyone! My name is Amy and I'm here because I learned the hard way how important it is to take care of yourself.

Throughout these lessons you will find references and content that I have gathered to support important points and information I've found as I've searched for resources to help myself as well.

Professional Experience:

A little about me (my full story can be found under "my story") - I have been working in healthcare since 1999 when I graduated from high school, I've worked as an EMT, a Paramedic, an ER Tech, a Flight Paramedic, an ED RN, a hospice RN and an instructor for CPR/BLS, EMS/First-responders, and clinical instructor for 3rd quarter students with EvCC at Swedish. 

Personal Experience:

Throughout my career I thought that I had to be strong in order to take care of those around me - I was less important than those I was taking care of. This was an unhealthy and unsustainable mindset that the companies I worked for used to their advantage. 

People who talk about self-care often talk about filling someone else's cup from an empty cup to associate the idea of taking care of or giving to someone else without taking care of yourself. It's true. Once you run out of your reserve of patience there's nothing left and it negatively impacts not only you, but also those around you.

Nursing is a career of caregiving.

"The unique function of the nurse is to assist individuals, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to a peaceful death), 

that they would perform unaided if they had the requisite strength, will or knowledge

And to do this in such a way as to help him gain independence as rapidly as possible."

~Virginia Henderson (1991)

What is Mental Health?

According to the World Health Organization, mental health is the state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. more simply describes mental health. "Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being."

Stigma of Mental Health

“The impact of stigma can be as severe as the consequences of the illness itself” - Katherine Ponte (2022, April 15). 

The best way to combat stigma associated with mental illness or mental health concerns is to be open and talk about it. The more willing I have been to talk about my mental health and the steps I needed to take in order to care for myself, the more those around me have shared their struggles and we have been able to support each other. Also, if someone has not had personal knowledge of someone they consider "stable" or "normal" that has a mental illness, having that discussion can reduce the stigma or attitudes related to mental health.