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An Evaluation of the Role of the Traveller Mental Health Liaison Nurse in Carlow and Kilkenny
Keogh, Brian; Brady, Anne-Marie; Downes, Carmel; Doyle, Louise; Higgins, Agnes
When developing the South East Traveller Health Unit (SE THU) Strategic Plan 2015 -2020, it became very evident that there was a need for a targeted approach to support Travellers to look after their mental health and wellbeing. The need to further develop supports for Travellers experiencing mental health difficulties who were not sure where to go for help, or who may not have known that any help was available, became a key priority for the South East Traveller Health Unit. The importance of addressing this within a sociodeterminants of health approach was an important principle. It was in this context that a Mental Health Liaison Nurse for Travellers (TMHLN) was appointed. The role of the Traveller Mental Health Nurse included providing support to members of the Traveller community in understanding concepts of mental health, recognising when they experienced mental health difficulties and helping them to access primary or specialist services/supports if this became necessary. Building trust with the Mental Health Nurse was recognised as essential for successful outcomes to be achieved. The South East THU recognises that mental and physical health is closely linked and approaches Travellers’ health holistically, acknowledging that one can impact / complement the other. If Travellers’ mental health is not in a good space, it can be extremely hard to provide support to look at what is necessary for good physical health. Supporting Travellers’ mental health is essential to enhance general health and wellbeing of members of this community. The community development model whereby Travellers were involved at every stage of the development of the work of the TMHLN - from when this role was just an idea right through to the completion of this evaluation - is especially positive. With recognition by the SE THU that Travellers are the experts of their own lived experience, members of the Traveller community have shaped the role of the TMHLN – this was effected through the participation of Traveller Community Health Workers on the South East Traveller Mental Health Advisory Sub Group as well as via participation in the Evaluation Sub Committee where cultural appropriateness of the approach and tools used in the evaluation was assured. The collaborative nature of the development and implementation of the TMHLN post and its associated evaluation was further underpinned with involvement of a range of key people, including the South East’s Social Inclusion Department, Mental Health service and Primary Care and Traveller Health Projects.
Keyword(s): Travellers; Mental health; Wellbeing; Mental Health Liaison Nurse for Travellers (TMHLN)
Publication Date:
Type: Report
Peer-Reviewed: No
Language(s): English
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): Keogh, B., Brady, A.M., Downes, C., Doyle, L., Higgins, A., McCann, T. An Evaluation of the Role of the Traveller Mental Health Liaison Nurse in Carlow and Kilkenny, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, October, 2018
Publisher(s): Trinity College Dublin
First Indexed: 2019-10-11 06:55:04 Last Updated: 2020-07-28 08:08:22