MSN Ed(hons) BScPN, Registered Psychiatric Nurse)
Poster Title: Addressing Sexual Health Risk Factors for People Living with Serious Mental Illness
Poster Description: In mental health, sexual health risk factors are not routinely or consistently approached required for optimal health and functioning for people living with serious mental illness (SMI). SMI refers to individuals living with severe and perseverative illnesses that impacts quality of life and functioning which includes diagnoses of schizophrenia, other psychoses, and bipolar disorder. Evidence shows that in the general population, there are sexual health interventions focusing on sexually transmissible and blood-borne infections. Regionally, nationally, or internationally there is not a strategy for reducing sexual health risk factors in the SMI population comparatively. People living with SMI are at more risk of sexual dysfunction and sexually transmitted diseases leading to poorer health outcomes than the general population. Without a clear and consistent approach in assessing sexual health for people living with SMI, this vulnerable population continues to live at risk.
- Synthesize and disseminate the available evidence in the literature and guidelines for addressing sexual health risk factors for people living with SMI.
- Create an awareness and understanding of the importance of routine practice for mental health nursing to address sexual health risk factors for people living with SMI.
- Inform and stimulate change in practice for addressing sexual health for people living with SMI.
Biography: Throughout my 20-year nursing career I have enjoyed sharing my expertise in psychiatry and nursing. I have gained a variety of experiences working within the community, emergency, acute, secondary, and tertiary services. I have been fortunate to have worked with people with lived experiences and their families in a variety of stages of their illnesses. I am a strong advocate for person-centered care, trauma-informed care, and evidence-based approaches. It is in these experiences where I thrive in discussing the treatment for people living with mental health challenges. I have a strong clinical experience, teaching experience, and strong evidence-based practice. I call Vancouver my home and have been working with leaders in psychiatry since early in my nursing career.