We Are Stronger Together

By Chizimuzo Okoli posted 05-02-2023 01:28 PM


To all my incredible psychiatric-mental health nurse colleagues,

Happy Nurses Month & Mental Health Awareness Month! I can think of no better time to celebrate the diversity found in our membership. According to the APNA PMH Nursing Workforce Initiative, our profession encompasses nurses of varied backgrounds serving in diverse roles in a myriad of settings.

We each bring an important and unique perspective to our united commitment to advancing whole health. And it is when we bring these perspectives together that important shifts in understanding happen, ultimately making us better PMH nurses for those we serve and making us truly strong together.

This year we’ve been discussing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and de-Stigmatization (I.D.E.A.S.) as critical solutions to whole health. These principles are fundamental to our PMH nursing role (see, for example, Standard 8. Cultural Humility in our Scope and Standards). In devoting conversations, abstracts for the APNA Annual Conference (more than 400 submitted!), and communications to these topics, we’re probing new understandings of these important principles for our profession.And that willingness to explore is something to genuinely celebrate.

Together, we are a strong and formidable group of nurses striving to provide inclusive hope and authentic partnership to those who need mental health services. What an incredible privilege that is. Our profession, by its very nature, puts us right at the center of crucial dialogues around I.D.E.A.S. The future of our community’s whole health is at stake, and we are a powerful force.

I’ve been encouraged by the APNA members who have shared their reflections on my messages and columns. It means that we are engaging in the important – and sometimes difficult – dialogue through which we build trust and identify possible solutions for ways to move whole health forward for all we serve.

I invite you to join in: Share your thoughts on this message. Or share a story of an exposure to a new perspective that created a meaningful moment for you. Just post in the comments by clicking the green button below!




05-07-2023 08:28 AM

Dr. Okoli, thank you for sharing one of your innovative evidence-based practices. I loved the statement, "Because there are no walls between us, there are no targets." Happy Nurses Month and Mental Health Month to everyone!

05-05-2023 12:22 PM

Thank you for the idealistic message of encouragement, Dr Okoli.
Happy Nurses’ Month to all!