Care for mental health

I GUESS the bravest thing I have ever done was to continue breathing when I almost wanted to just disappear in this world. Sometimes the senselessness and emptiness of our lives lead us to have unhealthy choices. That is why we need to know that seeking help is never overacting and emotional bruise is not visible.

Wounds in the heart and the mind alienates one from healing.

Last February 5 to 7, 2020, I attended the basic course in Mental Health Psychiatric Nursing in Inpatient Settings at the University of the Philippines-Manila.

Participants are from Mariveles Mental Health Wellness in Bataan, Cavite Center Mental Health, Philippine General Hospital, and other mental health institutions from LuzViMin.

Although I have been into practice as a nurse and a consultant in St. Peters Counseling Home and Rehabilitation Center for about 20 years, I feel that it is necessary to go back to the basics of Psychiatric Nursing to practice my chosen field considering the upgraded professional standards. Here are my learnings:

First, it reminded me that the therapeutic use of self is still the most vital consideration in a nurse-patient working relationship. What is new is the Mental Status Exam (MSE) format as a guide to assess patients is now upgraded and is more comprehensive, having new medical terms.

Second, it also refreshed me on the best approaches in handling patients in an inpatient setting that is collaborative, and patient-centered. I did appreciate it when Family Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was discussed which supplied me more knowledge on its application.

Third, it taught me further knowledge of ways to develop holistic skills of clients rehabilitated needed to begin a new life in the community after rehabilitation.

I must say that the three-day training indeed had taught us how to best apply safe, ethical and quality care to patients who are mentally sick and hopeless. I hope nurses remain to be the source of their hopes and help them in their struggle of mental health slavery.


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