Mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community” (WHO, 2018, para. 2). As part of a continuum, mental illness refers to a broad range of disorders that affect an individual's ability to think, feel, and behave, which has an impact on their ability to function in life. However, it is important to note that we can be healthy even with a mental disorder diagnosis, which is good news considering mental illness affects more than 1 in 5 Canadians (CMHA, 2016).
As nurses, we are part of a diverse caring profession full of triumphs, personal growth, and ongoing learning. Yet, our careers have moments of strain and tension as well. Stress, burnout, violence (including lateral violence), shift work, and job demands can all impact nurses’ mental health and overall life satisfaction (Lu et al., 2019). Nurses are not immune to developing mental health problems. In fact, Cares and colleagues (2015) found nurses' mental health to be in peril due to stigma and self-stigma associated with languishing mental health, as well as perceived job insecurity. Conversely, nurses' mental health and overall job performance are evidenced as being enhanced through positive mentoring relationships and peer support, which some workplaces have capitalized upon (Cusack et al., 2016). It appears that we nurses can directly influence one another's mental well-being just as we do the individuals and communities we work with.
Our Mental Health Professional Practice Group (MHPPG) was formed as a way to build a community of like-minded individuals who are enthusiastic about nursing and eager to promote nurses' mental health. We know that there are many of you out there! We also hope to challenge nurses to make mental health and well-being a priority for themselves, their families, and their colleagues. The MHPPG is dedicated to helping build upon our collective strengths in an effort to foster the mental health of our membership through creating partnerships, addressing nurses' wellness, engaging in advocacy, and working together to foster mentally healthy workplaces across the province of Saskatchewan.
If you like what we have to offer, please consider joining us!
The MHPPG Executive