Friday, 9 October 2009

World Mental Health Day, Cochrane Nursing Care Network and the Lost Thursday

The news this week has been full of reports of Psychiatrists paying people diagnosed with a serious mental illness £15 each time they agree to have their medication via a injection, those suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease reported to being kept quiet and submissiveness through the use of a chemical straight jacket, and three suicides amongst young people, three of which are three too many. All of this has occurred during the lead up to World Mental Health Day (9th October). As a Professor in Mental Health Care I can’t emphasize enough the important of mental well being, and as Head of School that prepares people to become mental health nurses, I would iterate the importance of our students and staff looking after their own mental health and well being so they can then better enable those who ultimately seek their help back on to the road of recovery.

As I write this I am attending the inaugural Cochrane Nursing Care Network in Singapore. Interestingly nurses are the biggest group of health care professionals (including all types of medical staff) to access the Cochrane Library for evident to underpin their practice and delivery of care. Whilst the concept of a Cochrane Review is predicated on RCT’s and largely big quantitative type studies, the importance of the Nursing Care Network is the realization that we need to use these approaches more effectively in order to better demonstrate the efficacy of our interventions and the power of our knowledge base in shaping future health care services. There are over a 100 delegates to this event and a further 600 attending the more general Cochrane Colloquium that follows. The theme for this latter event is increasing the involvement of service users in the development of the evidence based Cochrane Library.

The missing Thursday – well I got up at 05.00am on Wednesday and started work in my office at 6am. After a day spent at a special session of Senate I got on a plane to fly to Singapore. By the time I got to my hotel room some 33 hours had passed, 20 of which were Thursday. However, coming back next Tuesday, I leave after breakfast Tuesday morning and get into Manchester in time for a late evening meal, still on Tuesday. It’s a strange world at times.