Mental health nurses need support to develop leadership potential, says advisory group

Mental health support framework launched today aims to transform services in Wales

Mental health
Picture: iStock

Mental health nurses in Wales at all levels must be supported to develop their leadership potential, say nurse leaders as a new set of ambitions are released for the profession.

The All Wales Senior Nurse Advisory Group for Mental Health (AGMH) has produced a mental health nursing framework, which has been launched today, on the UK’s first annual Mental Health Nurses’ Day.

The AGMH chair Hazel Powell said: ‘We wanted to develop a collective voice for mental health nursing in Wales.

The framework sets out the group’s belief in the potential for nurses to help transform mental health services.

Four priorities

It is organised around four main areas:

  • Professionalism, voice and leadership.
  • Workforce and education.
  • Promoting population health.
  • Well-being and the quality and safety of care. 

Wales chief nursing officer
Jean White

Pledges for mental health nurses include:

  • Working collaboratively with people living with mental health problems, their families and carers.
  • Having leadership opportunities.
  • Undertaking clinical supervision.
  • Having effective and continuous professional development and postgraduate programmes that offer career development.
  • Being research minded and support research in practice.

Summer time frame

An action plan tackling how to achieve these pledges will be produced by the summer.

The framework says: ‘We want mental health nurses to develop and reach their potential and this should be supported through continuing professional development, clinical supervision, mentoring and reflective practice.’

RCN Wales director
Helen Whyley

Wales chief nursing officer Jean White said: ‘My hope is that mental health nurses will be inspired when they read this framework to quickly adopt the good practices described herein for the betterment of care delivery.’

RCN Wales director Helen Whyley welcomed the new framework and said she looked forward to working with the AGMH in the future on joint issues.

Ms Whyley said: ‘Mental health nurses, our members, provide professionalism and leadership every day to take care of people with mental health needs.

‘This is why it is so important that the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016 is extended into mental health settings.

‘It is only with the right numbers of mental health nurses and healthcare support workers that we can truly embrace the pledges set out in this framework.’

Further information

All Wales Senior Nurse Advisory Group – A Framework for Mental Health Nursing in Wales 2018-2028

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