Mental Health Nursing Special Interest Group

Recovery and context



The Mental Health Special Interest Group  (MH-SIG) offers seminars, discussions and reflective spaces for all mental health nursing students, lecturers and practice colleagues. This blog site is for team members and members of the MH-SIG to share writing, areas of interest and developments within the course. Throughout 2023 the mental health nursing special interest group came together to create the below vision and philosophy for the mental health nursing course at University of Brighton. 

The Mental Health Nurse works with people who experience a wide range of mental phenomena and distress, through attention to relationships in order to promote personal recovery and physical health by using the head (knowledge, critical thought and enquiry), the heart (emotion and attunement) and hand (the practice of nursing)”

This ambitious course appreciates that wisdom is constructed through commitment and attention to scientific endeavour, exploration of evidence base, relationship, dialogue, reading, enquiry and critical thinking. Learning is co-constructed with service users, carers, experts through experience, practice partners, students, lecturers and the wider academic community. Therefore, practices that nurture a safe environment to ask questions, learn, contribute and to challenge the status quo are valued. This includes curiosity into mental health recovery,  within a wider socio- political context and legal framework. The course fosters an appreciation of nursing values; prioritising   people, practicing effectively, promoting professionalism and trust and preserving safety for all. Our ambition is to look forward towards social justice, health equity and sustainability, with the aim of working to protect the public and to enable people to live meaningful lives.

We actively promote working in partnership with people at the intersections of their health combined with characteristics that include age, gender, gender assignment, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, disability, neurodiversity, religious beliefs, and relationship status. Exploration of a range of theoretical positions such as biomedicine, the recovery approach, anti-oppressive practices, peer support, the service user movement, psychological, feminist, leadership theories, theories of change and critical social theories are encouraged as are students in taking reflective, reflexive and critically reflexive positions. The course compliments theoretical learning with simulated mental health practices that include, trauma informed care, dementia care, compassionate mind training, solution focused practice, motivational interviewing and working with therapeutic relationship. Students are encouraged to think beyond functional approaches to learning to develop their self-regulatory capacity and towards emancipatory and transformative approaches to self-development. They are therefore active participants in their learning and self-assessment through problem-based approaches, creative process, blended learning technologies, experiential learning, practice learning, group work and reflective practice groups.




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