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The Role of APRNs in Mental Health: Addressing the Growing Need

Posted about 1 month ago

Mental health is gaining increasing recognition as a critical need for overall well-being. For APRNs, understanding and addressing mental health is not just a professional responsibility; it's a crucial component of providing patient care. In this article, we will delve into the significance of mental health for APRNs and explore how they can play a vital role in addressing the growing need for mental health support with patients.

Understanding the Importance of Mental Health

Mental health can be defined as a person's emotional, psychological, and social well-being. According to the CDC, mental health affects how people think, feel, and act toward others. As healthcare providers, mental health becomes extremely important when working with patients. 

Physical and mental health go hand in hand. When our bodies feel bad, our mental health can suffer. The same can be said in reverse; if our mental health is low, it can make us feel physically sick. The two work together to help keep us whole and healthy. 

On February 21, you can celebrate Mental Health Nurses Day with us by posting to social media and tagging ISAPN! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The Role of APRNs in Patient Mental Health

When you feel good mentally, it is easier to stick to habits that make you feel good physically. Patients with good mental health stick to medications better and, as a result, have better patient outcomes. 

APRNs hold a unique role in patient mental health. Because APRNs work closely with their patients, they are best positioned to evaluate their mental health. Along with evaluation, APRNs can collaborate with mental health specialists to find the best treatment plan. 

An APRN's ability to prescribe and administer medication is another avenue to provide mental health care. The direct communication with patients about their symptoms and their extensive medication knowledge means that APRNs are in the perfect place to help those who need it. 

APRNs are responsible for learning more about mental health for themselves and their patients. CE hours provide an opportunity to learn more about mental health, and ISAPNs CE events are an excellent avenue to learn about mental health. 

Personal Mental Health for APRNs

Patient mental health isn't the only thing APRNs need to be on the lookout for. To be the best care provider possible, you must be as healthy as possible. This means that being aware of your own mental health is essential for an APRN. 

When people think of self-care, the image of bubble baths and facemasks may come to mind. While this can certainly be a part of self-care, that is not truly what this word means. Self-care is putting yourself first and doing what is necessary to be happy, productive, and fulfilled in everyday life and work. This can be a number of things. From picking up a new hobby to changing your work schedule to help manage stress. Self-care is simply the things you do for yourself. 

Healthcare professionals often encourage their patients to seek professional help for mental health. As providers of care, it is equally important for APRNs to take this advice as well. Good communication about stressors in your life is essential, and learning how to manage these stressors is what makes a person successful in their work. If you are experiencing burnout, stress, or even just simply going through a rough patch, reach out for someone to talk to. Put yourself first so you can get back to being the best APRN you can be. 

ISAPN is dedicated to supporting APRNs in every aspect of their work, including their mental health. At last year's APRN Midwest Conference, a mental health seminar was hosted by Wamaitha Sullivan DNP, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, FPA. Practicing Self Care Through Mindful Meditation explored mental training practices to manage stress from both professional and personal life through meditation. Through mindful meditation, participants learned the tools to calm the body and mind.

ISAPN Supports the Mental Health Journey

As the demand for mental health support continues to rise, APRNs play a critical role in addressing this growing need. Recognizing the importance of mental health for both patients and themselves, APRNs can enhance the quality of care they provide. 

ISAPN is dedicated to supporting APRNs in every part of their professional journey, including mental health. By joining ISAPN, APRNs can access a supportive community and resources tailored to their needs. Together, we can build a healthcare environment that prioritizes comprehensive care and the well-being of those who provide it. 

"I am taking to my practice the skills of community assessment in all the human domains including mental health, financial health, and physical well being. Thank you ISAPN for giving me evidence based tools for my life and practice." Wamaitha Sullivan DNP

Join ISAPN today and find the support you need to thrive.