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A color photograph of a nurse sitting with a patient at a desk. The nurse is taking notes as the elderly patient speaks and holds his face.
Figure 1.1 Psychiatric-mental health nurses are important members of an interdisciplinary team that collaborates to evaluate and treat clients. (credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Lillian Moreno, Public Domain)

Mental health is a critical component of a person’s overall health. All nurses, regardless of the environment in which they work, must have a foundational knowledge of how to care for clients with a psychiatric-mental health diagnosis. Nurses working in this specialty area of nursing must use a holistic approach to assess the client’s mind, body, and spirit as one unit that works together. Just as being proactive is important to staying physically healthy, it is also important to understand protective factors against a decline in mental health. Nurses should actively assist clients to learn to recognize both physical and psychological triggers in order to safeguard and bolster their mental health.


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