I would also like to introduce the recently elected council who are committed to continue on the good work of the last decade.We look forward to work with you and will be very pleased to hear your comments, suggestions and any issues you feel are important for the psychiatric mental health nursing in Malta.Pierre Galea I personally find it truly hard to believe that it’s already been a decade since the Maltese Association of Psychiatric Nurses was launched and that yesterday marked the last day for me as President of the association.
Nurses need to be empowered and focus on how they can effect and instil change on an individual basis, with patients in their day to day work, in management and in education.
Nurses need to acknowledge and appreciate the work that they do, for their esteem, for the improvement of the profession and for the good of the patients. We dedicated time, energy, commitment and sometimes sacrificed our personal life to it.
Whether through reassuring a patient who has just been admitted to hospital, educating patients about their medication, liaising with management to improve standards of care, teaching students about evidence based practice or discussing risk assessment with a colleague, we are improving the values of our profession. It is part of our identity…and it is something we should be proud of.
I would like to conclude by thanking the previous council members, namely Mr. Antonio Magro who has been part of MAPN since its inception, for their work and contribution in the last 10 years.
It takes a collective effort to make an association like ours function efficiently, and I think it is only fair that special thanks go out to all the council members who throughout the years served on the MAPN board.
I will not mention anyone in particular for the simple reason that everyone gave his/her utmost and is therefore deserving of praise.
The past ten years were only possible because the council members and general members believed in MAPNs’ cause and chose to be part of an association which safeguards their profession and promotes mental health.
During this year’s MAPN conference, several mental health professionals presented research done by themselves. However research can provide interesting and valuable knowledge to our profession.
It was remarkable how much research was conducted on this island, but it was also remarkable how many dedicated professionals there are in the mental health field! It shows dedication, and it can help us think and reflect on what we are doing, what we need to change or improve and what is working or not.
Psychiatric nursing is not your run of the mill job. As a psychiatric nurse who has been in the field for the last 18 years, I have seen the psychiatric mental health nursing profession in Malta emerging, flourishing and thriving. MAPN provided a structure to mental health nursing, a community that nurses could affiliate with, it provided an identity to the profession and served as a platform for training, networking and professional development. There is still a lot of negativity surrounding mental health which is leaving its toll on mental health nursing and yes, there are challenges and difficulties which are still holding us back.
It requires dedication, commitment and a particular interest in helping people whom others will run away from. But I believe that each and every one of us can help to improve our profession.