When we speak about mental health, we are referring to the emotional wellbeing of a person.This encompasses their behavior, their feelings and their thought patterns. When something goes wrong, mental health problems can create barriers in our relationships and careers, as well as impacting our physical health. Nurses working in the mental health field provide treatment and support for sufferers but also encourage people to take care of their mental health through guidance and education.

The good news – excellent training is available

Mental health issues can affect anyone, so medical professionals who can help people manage their condition are in high demand. Providers such as Wilkes have responded with professional PMHNP programs designed to equip future mental health nurse practitioners with everything they need to succeed. From financial assistance to expert tuition and ongoing support, students are prepared fully for the challenges they will face in their future career. However, it’s not just about training more people. A range of factors is contributing to the ongoing need for more mental health professionals.

The stigma around mental illness is improving

Although many forms of mental illness can be relieved with specialized medical treatment, sufferers have not always looked for help. Problems can begin at work or home, but people often keep their struggles private. In part, this is due to a lack of understanding about mental health issues which leaves sufferers fearful of being judged. With more information about mental health being made available online, in the media and in clinics, people canfeel confident in coming forward and asking for help.

There is a general shortage of nurses

All branches of nursing are affected by a national shortage of nurses. In recent years, this has been magnified for mental health services for several reasons. Primarily, the Affordable Care Act has specific requirements relating to the delivery of mental health services. Also, more Americans are getting health insurance, which means more of us can afford to seek out mental healthcare as we need it. Increasingly, nurses with psychiatric care training and experience will be required to fill various roles in the health sector.

Mental health problems affect 20% of Americans

Many people in the United States are living with a mental illness. According to a study carried out by the National Institute of Mental Health, one in four of us has a mild, moderate or severe condition. Although not everyone is receiving treatment, the sheer number of people needing to utilize mental health provisions each day puts the service under strain.

Mental health nurses are needed in many settings 

Mental health nurses are required across various medical, educational and correctional facilities. As well as being essential team members in psychiatric units, they also work with teams of social workers and doctors in children’s mental health centers. Moreover, they assist primary care physicians with looking after patients in the community and are vital on specialist wards where people are treated for eating disorders or other psychiatric problems.

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