Mental Health Nursing Services

Mental illness is an equal opportunity illness that affects people of all ages, races and income levels. Kerry Mental Health Nurses care for you to help you recover your mental health so that you can live to your fullest potential.

Kerry Mental Health Nurses use the Tidal Recovery Nursing Care Model in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating your nursing care. They work as members of the multidisciplinary treatment team that provides person-centred care for the whole person. The Kerry Mental Health Nurse:

  • Evaluates your mental health needs
  • Writes and evaluates nurse care and treatment plans
  • Delivers psychosocial and treatment specific interventions
  • Provides personal and supportive care
  • Coordinates care with your family, your GP and any other caregivers

One of the fundamental roles of the mental health nurse in Kerry Mental Health is to enable you to meet your basic needs and restore your well being as far as possible. This involves the mental health nurse in giving direct care or in facilitating the development of your ability to meet your health care needs. Kerry Mental Health Nurses work a variety of shifts, with 24 hour nursing cover provided in all approved centres and residential centres. The schedules of mental health nurses vary. Nurses in community work regular business hours but often offer some extended hours for your convenience if you are working or attending college. Kerry Mental Health Nurses spend most of their workday interacting with you and your family; or their colleagues and administrators.

Kerry Mental Health Nurses work in a variety of areas and specialities including:

  • University Hospital Kerry Acute Mental Health Unit Approved Centre
  • O’Connor Unit, Killarney Approved Centre
  • Day Hospitals/Centres
  • High Support Hostels
  • GP Primary Care Centres
  • Home Treatment Teams (South Kerry)
  • Community Mental Health Teams
  • University Hospital Kerry Emergency Department Clinical Nurse Specialists in Self Harm and Liaison Nurses
  • Crisis Intervention Support Nursing Teams
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist in Activation 
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Psychosocial Interventions
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychotherapy
  • Staff Nurses in Psychosocial Interventions
  • Staff Nurses in Family Support
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Kerry Mental Health Nurses are also involved in the following National Clinical Programmes for Mental Health.

  • Early Intervention in Psychosis
  • Early Intervention in Eating Disorders
  • The Management of Self Harm Presenting to Emergency Departments
  • Dialectic Behavioural Therapy

The first NMBI category 1 approved Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course has just been completed by eight nurses in Kerry.

Role/ Responsibilities of Kerry Mental Health Service Mental Health Nurse

As a mental health nurse, the exact work will depend on the setting and specialist group they are working with, but in general a mental health nurse in Kerry Mental Health Service will be responsible for/involved in:

  • assessing you and talking to you about your problems and discussing the best way to plan and deliver your care
  • building relationships with you to encourage trust, while listening to and interpreting your needs and concerns
  • ensuring the correct administration of medication, including injections, and monitoring the results of treatment
  • responding to you, if you are distressed, in a non-threatening manner and attempting to understand the source of distress
  • if necessary, applying 'de-escalation' techniques to help you manage your emotions and behaviour;
  • preparing and participating in group and/or one-to-one therapy sessions, both individually and with other health professionals
  • providing evidence-based individual therapy, such as cognitive behaviour therapy for depression and anxiety
  • organising social events aimed at developing your social skills and helping to reduce feelings of isolation
  • preparing and maintaining patient records and producing care plans and risk assessments;
  • ensuring that the legal requirements appropriate to you are observed
  • working with your family and carers, helping to educate them and you about your mental health needs.

Depending on your needs in the community, the role may also involve:

  • visiting you in your home to monitor progress and carrying out risk assessments with regard to your safety and welfare
  • liaising with you, your relatives and fellow professionals in the community treatment team and attending regular meetings to review and monitor your care plans
  • identifying whether and when you may be at risk of harming yourself or others
  • working with your family and carers, helping to educate them and you about your mental health needs.

Kerry Mental Health Nursing Department

Nurse Management Team

Kerry mental health nursing service comprises of an Area Director of Nursing, four Assistant Directors of Nursing, one Practice Development Coordinator, one Clinical Placement Co-ordinator, many Clinical Nurse Managers, ninety eight staff nurses and twelve community health Nurses.

Facilitating the learning of student nurses in the work place is an integral role of the registered nurses of Kerry Mental Health Service. Psychiatric/Mental Health nursing is a specialist field within the health care profession. It involves an interpersonal caring process which acknowledges the uniqueness of each person. The psychiatric nurse working in Kerry Mental Health Service is concerned with the promotion of mental health, the prevention of mental illness and the provision of care.

Kerry Mental Health Nursing Management endeavours to provide efficient and effective quality nursing care to our service users and their families, in line with the ethos of A Vision for Change and A Vision for Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing within University Hospital Kerry and Kerry Community.

  • Kerry Mental Health Nursing Management aspire to provide strategic and clinical leadership in the delivery of quality care from a nursing perspective.
  • Kerry Mental Health Nursing Management endeavour to develop and promote the management of change necessary to achieve organisational objectives whilst adopting a risk management approach in managing the change process.

The Kerry Mental Health Nursing Management department works in collaboration with all the members of the Multidisciplinary team and Department Managers to achieve the service goals in the area of Mental Health.

The Kerry Mental Health Nursing Management department is responsible for:

  • The daily operational management of the units, departments and community services from a nursing perspective 
  • Organising recruitment, selection and appointment of nursing and care assistants. 
  • To ensure Quality and Patient Safety and health and safety of staff are managed effectively within the service and to establish a framework to ensure that the nursing services are compliant with all statutory requirements, including the Mental Health Commission and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

Nurse Practice Development Team

The Nursing Practice Development team is comprised of by a Nursing Practice Development Co-ordinator (NPDC), Clinical Placement Co-ordinators (CPC), and University Hospital Kerry Student Allocation Liaison Officer (SALO).
The main responsibilities include:

  • To enhance and develop nursing practice with the aim of providing a quality service for you. 
  • Developing and implementing nursing policies, protocols and guidelines in accordance with best practice 
  • Identifying, planning and implementing appropriate training to ensure that each practitioner has the opportunity to attend appropriate courses/training etc. to enhance their professional development and adhere to mandatory training requirements
  • To ensure that standards of clinical nursing care are in operation and that regular monitoring of nursing care is undertaken through audit
  • Clinical Placement Co-ordinator working with clinical nurse managers and preceptors to ensure that clinical areas provide optimum learning environments for student nurses. 

The main services provided by staff in the Nursing Practice Development Unit:

  • Nursing Practice support for practice innovation, evidence based practice and quality improvement. Nursing Practice Development recognises the increasing specialisation and complexity for mental health practice, and works with staff in a patient focused approach to enhance capacity for creativity and innovation. 
  • Working with student nurses who are undertaking a four-year BSc Honours Degree in Mental Health Nursing. The programme provides preparation for working as a psychiatric / mental health nurse and is jointly provided by Kerry Mental Health Service and Institute of Technology Tralee. 50% of the students time is spent in clinical placement where they work alongside registered psychiatric nurses who act as preceptors acquiring clinical nursing skills and applying nursing knowledge to your care. 50% of the students programme is in the Institute of Technology where they study a variety of subjects that relate to nursing. 

On successful completion of the programme, students are awarded a Degree in Nursing, BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) and are entitled to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland as a Registered Nurse.

The key functions of the Clinical Placement Co-ordinators include: 

  • Liaising with the NPDC, Link Lectures, Assistant Directors of Nursing, Clinical Nurse Managers, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Community Mental Health Nurses to develop and maintain an effective learning environment for clinical staff and student nurses. 
  • Facilitating BSc student nurses from ITT to identify learning opportunities in clinical placements, link theoretical knowledge to healthcare practice and use reflective techniques to develop professionally and personally. 
  • Providing support and guidance to preceptors in their teaching role with students. 
  • Forging links with university personnel to insure continuity between theoretical and clinical components of the BSc in Nursing Programme. 
  • Involvement in practice development issues, which are complimentary to student support and clinical learning e.g. clinical quality and audit.