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

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Rushing For Gold

The first section focuses particularly on the Victorian connections – commercial, legal, mining and personal, including migration statistics. But for me the most interesting chapters were in the middle sections about the people of the goldfields. More>>

Comedy Festival Review: VOTE BATT

The political campaigning in the US over the last eight months or so has provided a stark insight into how far political candidates are willing to go. This background came into focus as “former comedian” – now politician – Tim Batt ushered people up into the front seats, passing out badges and taking photographs with his not entirely adoring public... More>>

HRH QEII's 90th: New Zealand Post Birthday Stamps Fit For A Queen

New Zealand Post is celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday with a special series of stamps and a limited edition silver coin. The Queen was born on 21 April 1926. To mark her birthday, New Zealand Post has produced ‘lenticular’ or moving stamps that feature nine different images of the Queen on just three stamps. More>>

ALSO:

Anzac Day: A Time To Stand Against Hatred

The Human Rights Commission says ANZAC Day is a time for New Zealanders to remember those things our grandparents stood for and stand up against intolerance and prejudice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news