Mental Health

Mental Health Nursing: Collaborative Advancement of Research & Evidence (MHN: CARE)

Aim:

Mental Health Nursing: Collaborative Advancement of Research & Evidence (MHN: CARE) is a new CANR initiative whose aim is to improve mental health nursing practice and, as a result, consumer/patient outcomes through the generation new evidence, the synthesis of existing research findings, and the practical implementation of all best evidence into practice.

Background:

As a discipline, mental health nursing has well-acknowledged strengths. Consumers commonly cite the therapeutic relationships that they develop with nurses as being of particular value.

Mental health nursing has taken considerable strides in recent years to develop the evidence-base which informs best practice. Yet the profession is in a developmental phase and considerable gaps remain in our understanding of mental health nursing practice.

Key questions include the rationale for, acceptability to service consumers and effectiveness of mental health nursing practices and interventions, and about how best to translate new learning into changes in practice behaviour.

There has been a lack of involvement of service consumers in guiding and contributing to the mental health nursing research agenda. This increases the risk of our failing to understand what matters to them.

The lack of research capacity within the mental health nursing profession has resulted in other professional disciplines with more evolved research traditions filling this space. While new knowledge has been created, sometimes the relevance and applicability of research for mental health nursing practice has been unclear.

MHN: CARE seeks to develop new ways of developing and conducting clinically-relevant, mental health nursing research which involves collaboration with all those who share our aim of improving mental health nursing practice.

Key objectives:

To achieve our aim MHN: CARE will act as a hub around which all those with an interest in mental health nursing – in the capacity of practitioner, consumer, educator, professional colleague, or researcher - can coalesce:

  • To work collaboratively with all stakeholders who wish to contribute to our key aim
  • To synthesise, generate, and implement evidence for mental health nursing practice
  • To develop and conduct high quality research, review, and practice development projects
  • Disseminate findings and facilitate recommended changes for mental health nursing practice
  • Support SWS/LHD and WSU MHN researchers and MHN research collaborators
  • Build networks and collaborative relationships with relevant hospital and  community stakeholders

To get involved with MHN: CARE contact Geoffrey.Dickens@health.nsw.gov.au

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