Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing in China: Past, Present and Future


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Abstract

The mental health service model and policy have undergone dramatic changes and are moving toward the establishment of integrated service network-based community mental health services in China. But there are still some issues, such as shortage of resources, a relatively low rate of psychiatric treatment, lack of the knowledge about mental health in the general population, and stigma associated with mental disorders. This paper summarizes the history of psychiatric and mental health nursing in China and analyzes the characteristics of the current situation. There are healthcare challenges for psychiatric and mental health nurses with the mental health services reform by government, and in this paper we discuss future trends and provide suggestions for development of the psychiatric nursing profession, and mental health services reform.HIGHLIGHTSWe summarize the history and current situation, and discuss future trends of psychiatric and mental health nursing in China and provide some suggestions for development of the psychiatric nursing profession: a) increasing the relevance, effectiveness, and accessibility of education and training; b)expanding the role and capacity of community nursing; c)defining the standards and scope of practice for psychiatric and mental health nursing; d) standardizing the training of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Specialist Nurse (PMH-SN) and developing a Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (PMH-APRN) program; e)enhancing interprofessional collaboration and implementing Evidence-based Practice (EBP) in the PMHN field; f)reducing stigma and promoting psychiatric rehabilitation.

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