This paper examines the usage of psychological therapies by mental health nurses. The paper presents the findings from a questionnaire survey of 528 practising mental health nurses in Australia. Key findings include:
- Mental health nurses believe employing psychological therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy in their practice will improve therapeutic outcomes for consumers.
- Mental health nurses overwhelmingly want to employ psychological therapies in their practice.
- They think mental health nursing and hospital and community health management is too focussed on medical treatment and risk management, which means that their nursing practice is dominated by the administration of medication, excessive documentation, and patient observation.
- They identify barriers preventing them from practising psychological therapies. These include lack of confidence, low nurse morale, no support from other nurses, low staffing levels, lack of training opportunities, and inadequate support from nursing management.