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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3226 ..

This course will be designed for multidisciplinary learners and emphasise the connected social, emotional, spiritual, cultural, physical and mental wellbeing of individuals and communities. Embedding these values within this education will contribute to our vision for a connected and informed community that promotes and maintains mental health and wellbeing. To address the ongoing need for mental health nurses, the professor will enhance the mental health preparation of nursing students and facilitate pathways into the profession.

Nurse preparation will be strengthened through the revision and expansion of the mental health component of the Bachelor of Nursing and professional practice placements. The position will also support and evaluate new pathways into mental health nursing.

To build the research capacity of mental health nurses, the professor will establish a supportive research community to enhance and extend the current activities of the SYNERGY: Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre. Under the professor’s mentorship, emerging research leaders will develop into a resource where they share their skills, translate their work into practice and facilitate new projects relevant to the ACT.

The position will also support the towards a safer culture initiative which has been instrumental in identifying opportunities to enhance the safety of health professionals. In collaboration with the project team, the professor will add research rigour to the next phases of this project to provide a basis for ongoing developments and, again, to strengthen the research capacity of mental health nurses.

An important aspect of the professor’s work will be to incorporate the perspectives of people with lived experience of mental health challenges. This will ensure mental health nurses continue to practise, with the needs of consumers and carers at the forefront of their work.

Our nurses often have the unique experience of working with consumers from a clinical, social and emotional perspective. In this way, nurses have always been multidisciplinary health workers, but the lived experience is always invaluable. Our consumers and carers have unique experiences of the healthcare system and I look forward to seeing how educational lived experience further strengthens the expertise of our nurses.

I am proud that we are able to establish this position in the ACT, especially as we reflect on Mental Health Month and the needs of our community as we transition out of lockdown and continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our mental health workforce continues to play an important role to support our community to deal with the mental health impacts of the pandemic, and nurses are an important part of this response. The Professor of Mental Health Nursing position will strengthen our mental health nursing workforce to continue to support the mental health and wellbeing of our community.

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