Home > Evaluation of a Traveller mental health liaison nurse: service user perspectives.

Keogh, Brian and Brady, Anne Marie and Downes, Carmel and Doyle, Louise and Higgins, Agnes and McCann, Thomas (2020) Evaluation of a Traveller mental health liaison nurse: service user perspectives. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 41, (9), pp. 799-806.

Irish Travellers are a small indigenous minority group with a distinctive lifestyle and culture which sets them apart from the general population. Travellers are vulnerable to significant mental distress which is exacerbated by the social disadvantage that they experience.

A Traveller Mental Health Liaison Nurse (TMHLN) was introduced in one health care region in Ireland to provide support for Travellers and increase their access to mental health services. The aim of this paper is to present the findings from an evaluation which explored Travellers access to and reasons for accessing the TMHLN, the interventions provided and their experiences of and perceptions of the role of the TMHLN.

A descriptive qualitative approach was used. Ten Travellers who used the service were interviewed.

Following data analysis, three themes emerged: factors affecting Traveller mental health; accessing the TMHLN and the Travellers experiences and perceptions of the TMHLN. The participants were extremely positive about the TMHLN and valued the support provided.

The findings highlight how the interpersonal skills associated with mental health nursing set against recovery orientated and culturally congruent practices are suitable approaches when working with Travellers.

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