What are the responsibilities of nurses for treating Mentally sick people?


The nursing speciality is responsible for caring for people with a mental disorder or illness, such as psychosis, depression, dementia, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Mental health nursing supports and assists people with mental disorders. This professional will not only apply the appropriate treatments but will also assume an educational role and promote mental health at the community and individual levels.

This nurse is part of a multidisciplinary team that includes social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists and occupational therapists to assist, educate and rehabilitate the mentally ill.

these nurses work with a wide range of psychiatric cases. Because it covers people with dementia, eating behaviour problems, patients with personality disorders, depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, psychotic, neurotic disorders, etc.

Nursing principles in mental health

They are general rules that govern the nurse’s conduct towards the patient to achieve an unbeatable result concerning the individual’s mental health. These basic principles are:

  • Accepting patients as they are
  • contact with reality
  • Personal collaboration of the Nursing Professional
  • Patient stability and safety
  • Modification of the patient’s behaviour through the emotional experience
  • Self-understanding as a therapeutic instrument
  • Patient Approval
  • History of psychiatric and mental health nursing
  • In prehistory, the measures that were applied to treat people with mental problems were tribal rites.
  • This moral therapy requires that helpers provide patients with gentle treatment and maintain their participation in the therapeutic program.
  • The followers of moral therapy were convinced that mental illness corresponded to insufficient education and obscenities and that a therapeutic environment could overcome these weaknesses.
  • Cruel treatment of the sick was replaced by keeping them busy with work, music, or other activities or entertainment.
  • The implementation of moral therapy and its dependence on collaborators established the beginnings of the care currently provided by nurses to psychiatric patients.

Of the critical events in mental health nursing during the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, we can point out:

Psychiatric nursing took a very significant leap when ” interpersonal relations in nursing” or ” interpersonal relations in nursing” by Hildegard Peplau was publish

The importance of the relationship between patient and nurse is described as a treatment modality.

Peplau is considered “The Mother of Modern Nursing in Psychiatry.”

Graduated clinical nurse specialists in psychiatric care quickly took leadership positions in organised nursing, prompting recognition for their work as autonomous mental health care providers, specifically in psychotherapy.

In 1953 the Nation League for Nursing required that practice be incorporated into all core curricula and that these areas be taught by faculty who are nurses.

At the end of 1950, care for people with mental illness was revolutionised when the use of chlorpromazine (sedative, antipsychotic, antiemetic and tranquilliser) spread for the first time.

In 1903, the Institute of Social Reforms was inaugurated in Spain, which would be in charge of diagnosing the main problems of mental health and infant mortality.

In 1923, the National School of Childcare (1923) and the National School of Health (1924) were created, both Spanish institutions seeking a solution to the difficulty of caring for the mentally ill.

In 1931, the Higher Psychiatric Council emerged, dependent on the General Directorate of Health. This team frequently investigated the mental problems of society and led to the creation of the psychiatry and mental illness section.

Mental health nursing made a significant advance in 1932. The law was enacted for the organisation and regulation of health personnel in psychiatric institutions. In 1963, the way of providing mental health care was turned around by emphasising prevention and decentralised therapy.

However, after the Spanish Civil War, psychiatric nursing suffered a setback since it was not until 1987 that the title “Mental Health Nursing” was created. Still, the respective career began to be taught in 1998 in Spanish universities.

Mental health nursing technician

He is a senior university technician prepared to join the health team, supporting professionals in the area in applying basic nursing processes and in actions to promote, protect, recover and rehabilitate the individual, family and community.

This mention in Mental Health Nursing also qualifies you to participate in mental health teams, supporting professionals in the promotion and protection of mental health, as well as in the application of treatment and rehabilitation of mental pathologies and drug addictions.

Labor Field

The Nursing Technician with a Mental Health mention will stand out efficiently in offices, clinics, hospitals, COSAM and other health institutions, as well as in institutions that house older adults 

The skills achieved through his training also enable him to create his workspaces by providing home care services to patients.

Role of the nurse in mental and psychiatric health

Nursing’s role in mental health has evolved, and it is of utmost importance in the evolution of psychiatric patients. The primary care nurse, in these cases, causes a tremendous positive impact and provides comprehensive care to the individual, the family and their environment.

Nursing specialists in mental health have an essential role in promoting patients’ health and rescuing control of their lives.

These professionals promote in the patient the empowerment of their lives conceived as independence, self-confidence, and self-care.


In the mental health field, patient empowerment has been considered by the WHO as the primary basis for the orientation given to health promotion; therefore, methods that respect the patient’s voice must be established.

Empowerment is described as the gradual process of self-esteem, which is necessary for people to have the energy required to develop their health.

Patients with mental disorders who have participated in patient-centred health promotion activities have had positive health experiences about empowerment.


People are emancipated when they enjoy independence, freedom and autonomy in their decisions. Obtaining emancipation is the product of a procedure of motivations, acquisition of new knowledge, self-reflection, objectives and values to free oneself from harmful conceptions.

The emancipation of the patient resides in the fact that he has freedom from the control exercised by nurses, doctors, and other authorities. For a patient with a mental illness, knowing and understanding the condition better and the reality in which he finds himself can favour his emancipation and an improvement in pathology management.


Individuals with high self-esteem see more rigorous tasks as a challenge and not as a threat to be prevented, and they overcome errors or failures more quickly.

It has been proven that stimulating self-confidence in people with mental illness decreases stress and the weakness to present depression. As a result, people with mental disorders often experience distress and feel unable to influence their lives.

Therefore, the role of nursing professionals in the health promotion approach is decisive in optimising their patients’ self-confidence.


Self-management, from a medical point of view, refers to the ability of a person with a disease to take care of their symptoms, the respective treatment, the physical and psychosocial effects, and the life changes inherent to a long-term pathology.

Efficient self-management is associated with a person’s ability to follow up and respond cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally to maintain a pleasant quality of life.

Through his experiences, an individual can apply changes in his life and rebuild his own identity by studying his limitations. For example, in mental health, self-management means moving the classic treatment approach to one more focused on the person, which makes it easier for them to rebuild their lives to live with their permanent ill.

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