A group of leading lived experience mental health advocates and campaigners have come together with NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Health Education England, to recognise the vital role played by mental health nurses who provide “hope and compassion”.
Marking World Mental Health Day, the #MHnursesofferhope campaign has launched with a moving film which aims to say thank you to mental health nurses and to encourage more people from all backgrounds into these key roles.
The advocates and campaigners who make up the Speaker Collective, a social enterprise established in 2018, draw on their own personal experience of mental health crises and issues to highlight the compassion, support and dedication of NHS mental health nurses. They are speaking out as part of their work to encourage ‘meaningful conversations’ which can challenge stigma and get people talking about their own mental health and related issues.
Jon Salmon, Director of the Speakers Collective, who helped produce the film, said: “We are delighted to be able to use this moment (World Mental Health Day) to support our brilliant NHS mental health nurses, who are sometimes overlooked but whose work offers hope and helps save lives every day.”
“The Speakers Collective members who have shared their stories testify to the amazing contribution that these nurses have made to their lives and the lives of their families. We are proud to say ‘thank you’ to them all and to support the vital recruitment drive being led by NHS England. There has never been a more important time for the hope that mental health nurses provide.”
Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: "This film takes a very personal, insightful look at the real difference that mental health nursing makes for so many people. It takes a pretty unique skill set and special type of person to work in mental health nursing - I hope this film can help us raise awareness of the opportunities a career here can offer."
Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England said:
“A lot has been achieved across all of our organisations to increase attention and support for the health and wellbeing of all our NHS staff since the NHS People Plan was published. We know when staff and learners are happy and feel fulfilled in their work, where they look forward to going to work, they are proud of the care they provide to their patients.
“Our MH colleagues, along with others, have provided critical support during the pandemic for service users and staff alike. MH challenges can affect us all and this film highlights the huge expertise and skill these nurses have and I am proud to help raise awareness of this very important career in this field of nursing.”
To find out more about opportunities to work in mental health nursing go to https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/nursing-careers/nursing-careers
About Speakers Collective
In September 2018, the Speakers Collective came together as 17 freelance speakers, campaigners and advocates.
Its network was established to provide support to each other so that they could help others. In the two years, they have collaborated, grown their community and launched a pledge.
Speakers Collective members are experienced professionals, the majority speaking from lived experience. They can provide a variety of services from keynote speeches, lunch and learns, half-day and full-day workshops and consultancy. They are passionate about ending stigma and transforming conversations on mental health.
About Byte Entertainment
Byte Entertainment is the leading independent content, partnerships and innovation agency. As well as being the producer of this inspiring We Are The NHS content series for NHS England, NHS Improvement, and Health Education England, Byte has a long history of supporting mental health causes, working with charitable organisations like SANE and Women In Sport, and its own entertainment & wellbeing programmes like Listen Out! Specialising in the innovative fusion of content and technology, Byte's other clients have included EE, Microsoft and HSBC.