Mental health

As nurses, midwives and nursing and midwifery students you understand the importance of maintaining a patient's mental health. It is equally important that you take some time to look after your own well-being.

If you are worried about your mental well-being and would like to chat to someone you can call our confidential support line 24/7 on 1800 667 877.

Mental health in nursing and midwifery

Studies suggest that as nurses, midwives and nursing and midwifery students you can potentially be exposed to high emotional, psychological, cognitive and physical demands which may impact on your mental health. If you are experiencing a mental health issue there is a risk it will affect your ability to competently and safely do your work. This could place you and the public at risk of harm.

Optimal health is achieved by maintaining your physical, emotional, psychological and social well-being. When you are healthy you are able to thrive, cope with the ‘normal‘ stresses of life, work productively and effectively, and contribute within your community. This does not mean that you may not have an existing illness or condition, but rather, that you are managing and seeking the necessary treatment for your health issues (WHO, 2016).

Mental health statistics

No one is immune to experiencing a mental health issue. Almost half of the Australian population, aged between 16-85, will experience a mental illness in their lifetime with 20% of adults affected by a mental illness every year. However, less than half of those experiencing a mental illness will access support and treatment (National Mental Health Commission, 2014).

Mental health conditions require the same degree of support and treatment as any other illness, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, cancer and chronic pain disorders.

In Australia, depression and anxiety are the highest presenting mental health illnesses.