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Community Mental Health Nursing: A Guide to Practice in Canada

May 20, 2021

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A society that has great value for mental health including people who live an enjoyable and purposeful life has been one of the clear aspirations of the Canadian health care system. By virtue of meeting optimal health standards for all Canadians, the health care system works on strategizing and implementing certain things. The Canadian nurses form the largest group of health care workers in the country and so, they have an important role in making sure that the mental health goals are achieved.  In Canada, the people who experience mental health problems are offered maximum assistance medically. An important part of offering this assistance is managed by qualified nurses who have completed Community Mental Health nursing courses in Canada. While keeping in mind behavioral, critical, and sociological perspectives the goal of Mental Health nurses is to understand the person who is mentally distressed and tend to that person’s needs.  It must be understood that Community Mental Health Nursing is essentially the application of knowledge of Psychiatric nursing in the process of preventing mental illness, promoting and maintaining the mental health of people, etc. It includes an early diagnosis, appropriate referrals, and care and rehabilitation of mental health patients.  In case you are interested in Community Mental Health Nursing then this blog will offer you a guide to practice this nursing discipline in Canada. Below we will mention a few points that will enable you to understand the nature of Community Mental Health Nursing in Canada. 

Scope of Community Mental Health Nursing in Canada: 

The scope of working as a Community Mental Health Nurse is vast in Canada. It is by no means limited to some workplaces and responsibilities. However, there are some things that are considered important such as planning, implementing, and assessing the prevention activities and programs. Even though you will be introduced to all of these when you study nursing in Canada, we will offer a brief description of what you will be expected to do.  Being a Community Mental Health Nurse will fundamentally involve enhancing the ability of citizens to seek mental health treatments in case they are in need. In case there is a patient who is ill and injured and wants to be at home then you will be expected to show nursing techniques for the home care.  An important part of being a Community Mental Health Nurse will also involve assessing the physical, social, and health status of people and their families. You will be offering healthcare in line with other professionals for improving a patient’s health, referring patients to approach suitable clinics when medical intervention is needed, and identify outbreaks of health issues in the community.  Finally, an important thing will be to remember that working with multicultural patients will seem different. In all cases, you must be empathetic and sensitive to the needs of a patient who might be suffering from a mental block. 

Employment Opportunities for Mental Health Nurses: 

When you enter a practical nursing program in Mental Health Nursing, you will be open to making the most out of many potential career opportunities. Since mental wellness is considered as one of the most important aspects of leading a successful and happy life, many public and private institutions, associations, government bodies, community settings, and even families realize the importance of optimal mental health.  As a mental health nurse, you will be trained to play the role of a mental health advocate and therefore, there will be a massive need for you in Canada. What we mean is that the scope of employment opportunities for Mental Health nurses is wide, which makes mental health nursing courses in Canada a widely chosen postgraduate degree option in the country.  Some of the most common employment settings for mental health nurses are working at hospitals, community health centres, non-profit organizations, mental health and addiction facilities, schools, correctional facilities, nursing, and long-term care homes, etc.  You will basically have the option of working at various locations and with different groups of people. Based on where you choose to work, you might have less and more direct contact with the people of a community. Hence, you can choose whichever option you like the best on the basis of your interest and desire. 

Supportive, Therapeutic, and Competent Mental Health Care: 

Tending to the patient in the sense that you offer unconditional assistance in healing is a fundamental practice of nursing. After you complete the Community Mental Health nursing program in Ontario, a primary goal will be to be actively involved in the mental health promotion and prevention of any mental disorder.  You will be asked to assess and clarify the influence of personal beliefs, values, and life experiences of the patients while establishing a caring disposition in the healthcare setting where you will work. You can use a range of therapeutic communication skills verbal and non-verbal while interacting with the patients so that you can focus on empathy, listening, and observing.  Being a Mental Health Nurse in Canada, you will be mobilizing resources that increase patient’s access to mental health services while understanding and responding to human resources that cause any kind of distress such as anger, grief, fear, helplessness, etc.  While you study nursing in Canada, you will be taught to evaluate the patient on the basis of developmental, emotional, and spiritual changes, but on the job, you will also be in charge of making sure that these changes are accountable in the patient’s healthcare plan.  The scope of your job might also extend to offering supportive and therapeutic care to the significant other of the patient as well. Finally, you will also be responsible to reflect on the healing effects of the nurse-patient relationship by evaluating the patient’s response to healing processes and seeking necessary clinical supervision with the current healing development. 

Dedicated Patient Assessment With Optimal Diagnosis: 

The importance of effective diagnosis and monitoring is an important part of a nurse’s role. It relies on understanding the theory taught in practical nursing programs and understanding the meaning of health experience from the perspective of a patient. When this knowledge is integrated with the conceptual model of nursing practice, it provides a framework for processing patient data and developing patient-focused healthcare plans.  As a Mental Health Nurse in Canada, you will be required to make professional judgments about the importance of this data while acknowledging the patient as a valuable and respected partner all through the decision-making process. You will be responsible for collaborating with patients so that you can observe, examine, interview, and consult while being attentive to things such as patient privacy.  In addition, you can also be in charge of documenting and analyzing the data to find health status, the potential for wellness, health care deficits, the potential for danger to self and others, changes in thinking, perceiving, communicating, and decision-making. In other scenarios, you could be asked to refine patient assessment information by assessing important changes in the patient status and comparing new data with baseline assessment and patient care goals.  While you complete your Community Mental Health nursing course in Canada, you will be taught to anticipate problems in the future course of the patient’s functional status including shifts in mood that indicate change or self-harm. However, when you will be on the job it will become easier for you to determine a suitable healing model that will potentially meet the patient’s needs. 
Foundation and Development of Holistic Nursing: 
When you choose to study the Mental Health Nursing program in Ontario, you will be enabled to experience holistic nursing career development. This will help you gain hands-on experience in understanding and managing the swiftly transforming mental health situations in complete collaboration with the interdisciplinary team.  Completing this nursing program will lead you to learning important methods that can help in facilitating healing requirements. Additionally, studying the mental health nursing course also helps in learning how to ensure high-quality mental health care practices for patients falling within legal, ethical, cultural, and social frameworks.  Finally, nurses who manage to do well in this field also become eligible to participate in social and political activities that encourage the continuous quality improvement of mental health services across institutions, organizations, and communities. This can actually give a great career boost to your nursing career in Canada.  You could actualize your potential to lead in many scenarios while being a dedicated advocate of promoting and working for mental health wellness. All in all, choosing to study mental health nursing in Canada can prepare a nursing aspirant to provide expert mental health services to an individual, family, group, or community.  Hence, if you have been considering going with the mental health nursing specialty in Canada then you must know that your chances of making a successful therapeutic nursing career are high. In addition, there will be ample opportunities for holistic career growth as well. 
Conclusion: 
If you are thinking of a career in Mental Health nursing then you must consider yourself fortunate enough to train for a career that can enable you to make a difference in the community. You can start building your foundation by enrolling in a suitable nursing course in Canada that fast tracks their growth to make an accomplished nursing career aimed at healing patients with mental illnesses. 

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