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Supporting mental health nurses’ wellbeing at work


HACSU believes in the importance of building resilience and supporting the wellbeing of mental health nurses.

It is not unusual to be working short on a shift and these staffing shortages see the nurses who work in the mental health sector, bridging the gaps with excessive overtime or working short. We are seeing mental health nurses overburdened, burnt out, and leaving the sector.

That is why HACSU is proud to be one of the partners in the Resilience Program run by the Mental Health Nursing Research Unit at NWMH.

Mental health nurses are over 50% of the mental health workforce and provide vital care for mental health consumers and their family/carers. This work is both challenging and rewarding.

To support staff wellbeing and mental health, the Mental Health Nursing Research Unit at NorthWestern Mental Health (NWMH), led by Professor Kim Foster, has partnered with the ANMF, HACSU, and the Department of Health & Human Services Victoria, in an exciting Australian Research Council funded trial of a resilience program.

The study offers a great opportunity for enrolled and registered nurses at NWMH to take part in the study, which includes the Promoting Resilience in Nurses program. This is an evidence-based program which aims to equip nurses with the skills to positively adapt to stress and adversity, manage conflict, and improve their relationships.

Nurses who have done the program have found it helpful in both their personal and work life:

 ‘I am actually less stressed out because I know how to cope with my stress level and resolve my burnout. I’m feeling more confident in my work’

‘The skills are transferable for all situations, not just relating to work situations’

‘I catastrophise things easily. More so at home than at work. Since the program, I’ve become more aware of it and that’s when I start to seek out my friends or others to stop it.’

‘When I’m supervising other staff, I can draw on the program and challenge them to rephrase a thought or to view it from a different lens. I think they’ve appreciated it, to look at things differently.’

Information sessions on the study are being delivered across NorthWestern Mental Health - keep an eye on emails for further information.

For further information please contact Adrian Laughlin at