The International Council of Nurses (ICN) recently endorsed a free training program created by the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at improving mental health.
The online course has six learning modules covering the topics of recovery, abuse, violence, human rights, supporting those struggling with mental health issues and looking after your own mental health.
It is available in a total of 11 different languages and is completely free for everyone.
Read the full World Health Organization article here
Who should take this course?
This online course is for anyone with a mental health diagnosis, their family members, people in their support system, and all healthcare providers who care for patients.
Elizabeth Ayrault, the WHO’s chief nurse, recommends that every nurse take this course, saying,
“This will go a long way in providing choice and information about treatment options to the people you work with and care for; offering alternatives to seclusion and restraint; and promoting recovery, hope and community inclusion.”
All nurses and nursing students who complete this online course can receive 24 hours of International Nursing Continuing Education Credit. This can be an excellent way to get the necessary continuing education that may be required to remove your RN license in some states.
Why was this course started?
This training program was developed as part of the WHO Quality Rights Initiative. This initiative is expanding worldwide, in 31 different countries.
WHO says its Quality Rights Program helps improve care for people with mental illness and promote human rights for people with disabilities. It focuses on promoting autonomy, choice, community inclusion and recovery for individuals with mental disorders.
Through this initiative, WHO supports countries around the world in implementing services, policies and laws that are consistent with international human rights standards.
You can read more about the WHO Quality Rights Initiative here.
Yesterday @TheLancet The commission published a report on eliminating stigma and discrimination in #MentalHealth.@WHO has already taken action with the evidence base #Rights for quality eLearning to remove stigma and promote inclusion. It’s free and fun! Link here: https://t.co/H6z0rIV3A5 pic.twitter.com/LgR83hmNF0
— Michelle Funk (@MichelleFunk3) October 11, 2022
Why is a course like this necessary?
All nurses in everything Patient care settings should consider mental health as an important and high priority area of nursing care delivery.
WHO cites some reasons why this program is needed, including reports of,
This recent article discusses an Indiana University study that found that approximately 45% of people who go to the emergency room for medical care also have other substance use and mental health problems that are being screened for and not being addressed.
Unfortunately, there are other reports like these of patients in mental health facilities being mistreated or neglected by staff and licensed care providers.
While this type of continuing education is obviously important for nurses working in a psychiatric ward or mental health facility, it is just as important for PACU, pediatric, or cardiac nurses. Mental health is a significant part of some patients’ comorbidities and is an important part of nursing care plans.
President of the International Council of Nurses, Dr. Pamela Cipriano, says:
“Educating nurses to better support the mental health and well-being of the people they care for can make a huge difference to an individual’s quality of life. This is very timely because we know that nurses everywhere have suffered during the pandemic. I encourage nurses everywhere to take the time to complete this program for the benefit of their patients and themselves.
How to take the course
Signing up for this mental health training program is quick, easy and completely free for everyone. You do no you must be a nurse or healthcare provider to enroll and take this course.
You can see an overview of the course as well as a link to enroll for free here.
After registering, you will be prompted to confirm your email address and will receive an email with detailed instructions and informational videos about the course.
This training includes interactive online modules and provides online help and support to assist you as needed during the course.
You do not need to complete this course in one go and you are allowed to exit and resume the course right where you left off.
Nurses who care for patients in any field can benefit from this type of training. We can make a positive contribution to improving mental health care by completing this course and others by keeping abreast of best practice and care for our patients.
It’s also a reminder that looking after our mental health is a priority as carers. We can always use education when it comes to taking care of ourselves so that we end up being our best selves while doing the valuable work of providing care for others.