‘Meet Me Where I Am’: Mental health service users’ perspectives on the desirable qualities of a mental health nurse

ABSTRACT: Nurses play a central role in the delivery of quality mental health services. Desired
qualities of a mental health nurse, in particular therapeutic relationships, have been described in
the literature, primarily reflecting the nursing paradigm. Service users’ perspectives must be more
fully understood to reflect contemporary mental health policy and to recognize their position at
the centre of mental health service delivery and to directly influence and contribute their
perspectives and experiences to mental health nursing education. A qualitative exploratory
research project was undertaken to inform and enhance understanding of what service users see
as the desired qualities of a mental health nurse. The project was co-produced by service users as
experts by experience, and mental health nurse academics to ensure the service user perspective
was privileged. This international project conducted in Europe and Australia included a series of
focus groups with servi ce users (n = 50). Data were analysed thematically. Being with me was a
major theme identified and reflected the sub-themes: respect towards service users as persons;
empathy, compassion and effective communication; understanding service users; knowledge of
services; and fostering hope and believing that recovery is possible. These qualities specifically
reflecting the service user perspective must be central to mental health nursing curricula to
facilitate the development of holistic care and recovery-oriented practice. These findings were
utilized to directly inform development of a co-produced mental health nursing learning module,
to maximize genuine service user involvement, and to fully realize the benefits of service user led
education for undergraduate nursing students


To read the full report, click here.



‘Meet Me Where I Am’: Mental health service users’ perspectives on the desirable qualities of a mental health nurse. (2021). Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/inm.12768

Leave a Comment