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

 

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

EPMU: Fourth Pike River Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news