Lundbeck Canada Inc. Mental Health Nursing Award

I have been practising as a psychotherapist for more than 30 years. My practice grew from my earlier experience as a psychiatric nurse. I became a nurse because I felt a calling to community service.

As a psychotherapist, I have worked with people who seek relief from depression, anxiety and relationship problems emerging from a broad range of issues. I view myself as a “field soldier” whose job it is to assist people with issues of mental health. I am a life-long student in this field. After more than three decades in private practice, I am working on my Master’s in Nursing Science at York University. Through my related research and advocacy, I want to contribute to the mental health aspect of nursing.

I recognize that RNs can have great influence in the mental well-being of patients – either positive or negative. To be positive in nature, their potential must be recognized and supported. Instead, I see a system that increasingly takes a narrow view of patient care, focusing on benchmarks and metrics and, at the same time, overlooking the capacity of RNs for achieving both cost-effectiveness and care excellence. In this environment, RNs take direction and carry out technical care. Their potential for practicing psychotherapy is not recognized, nor is it nurtured through education, and their prospective contributions are wasted.