ICN launches new guidelines to help nurses tackle the growing global crisis in mental health care

6 March 2024
PR 08

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has today published new Guidelines on Mental Health Nursing as part of its mission to improve mental health care globally.

Around the world, people are facing unprecedented challenges that are having a significant negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

ICN’s new guidelines represent its commitment to helping nurses deliver high-quality, ethical and compassionate nursing care for people with mental health conditions everywhere.

They are designed to improve the consistency and quality of care delivered, and to provide a road map so that nurses can advocate for best practice, robust policies and better access to professional development and educational opportunities.

ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano said the guidelines would improve the care provided to people with mental health conditions, which are often left untreated.

Dr Cipriano said: “We live in a time of unprecedented challenges that are having a significant negative impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing. While 50% of us will develop a mental health condition at some point in our lives, more than 70% of people with severe mental health and substance use disorders receive no treatment at all. Additionally, we know it is critical to routinely support the mental health and well-being of nurses and other healthcare workers particularly as many are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

‘Nurses play a critical role in providing the compassionate, person-centred care that is essential in responsive healthcare systems. These guidelines support the professional practice of mental health nursing, and encourage informed actions among nursing professionals, policymakers, and healthcare organizations.”

The guidelines were developed in collaboration with nursing experts from around the world. They include recommendations that provide guidance on maintaining and improving the quality and safe delivery of mental health care.

They are aimed at all nurses, including those who work in general health care settings, and those who work in specialist mental health services.