News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Breaking the silence about violence in mental health

Breaking the silence about violence in mental health

The impact of violence on mental health nurses is revealed through the experiences of a group of nurses in an article in the June issue of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s (NZNO) magazine, Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, published this week (available here).

The nurses believe there is a culture of silence about violence in mental health. They agreed to speak about their experiences to their professional nursing magazine - to break that silence and to shine light on the problem.

In the article “Assaults leave nurses fearful”, the nurses describe being punched, kicked, stabbed, burnt, choked and verbally abused and threatened. Nurses who felt competent and confident before they were assaulted became fearful and struggled to cope with the physical and psychological effects of the attacks. Their families were also deeply affected. The article is written by an experienced mental health nurse from Christchurch.

Figures gained from district health boards (DHBs) via the Official Information Act show reported assaults by mental health patients on staff more than doubled between 2010 and 2012.

According to the article, mental health is more prone to violence than other parts of the health sector, because of the nature of some kinds of mental illness which can lead to aggressive, irrational behaviour. This can be exacerbated by drug and alcohol use, and other social factors. Working conditions in mental health services can also affect the risk of violence. Nurses are most vulnerable to attacks from patients because they spend the most time with patients and provide most of the front-line care.

Mental health nursing directors told Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand DHBs worked hard to provide safe working environments for their nurses, through ensuring staff numbers and skills were suitable. Staff are also taught how to de-escalate violent situations and how to break away from a patient’s hold.

NZNO provides industrial and professional support to more than half the country’s mental health nurses.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

August 4: Centenary Of New Zealand Entering The First World War

PM John Key: I move, that this House recognise that on the 4th of August 2014, we will mark the centenary of New Zealand entering the First World War... More>>

ALSO:

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news