Congressional Conversations on Mental Health
AACN attended multiple Congressional hearings on rising mental health concerns throughout the nation, including:
- On March 23, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing titled, Strengthening Federal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs: Opportunities, Challenges, and Emerging Issues. Panelists highlighted the importance of funding for federal programs that support mental health for patients and providers. Click here to view the hearing.
- On March 29, the Senate Finance Committee released a bipartisan report on mental health care in America. The report highlights current issues, such as accessing quality mental health care, and outlines crucial next steps in ending the mental health crisis in the United States. Click here to view the full report.
- On March 30, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing titled, Behavioral Health Care When Americans Need It: Ensuring Parity and Care Integration. Panelists highlighted the importance and need of accessing timely, high-quality care and creating innovative solutions for mental health care for all. Click here to view the hearing.
- On April 5, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing titled, Communities in Need: Legislation to Support Mental Health and Well-Being. This hearing focused on how current legislation can help support the mental health crisis faced by children, adolescents, and adults across the country. Witnesses addressed the ongoing mental health crisis, including how social determinants of health disproportionately impact different populations. Click here to view the hearing.
A Call to Action for Academic Nurse Leaders to Promote Practices to Enhance Optimal Well-being, Resilience and Suicide Prevention in Schools of Nursing across the U.S.
In August 2020, AACN’s members voted to endorse a resolution that promotes the mental health, physical health, healthy lifestyle behaviors, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. This call to action includes schools of nursing transitioning from crisis intervention to prevention by building wellness cultures; offering mental health screenings or providing access to them at their supporting institutions; conducting wellness, healthy lifestyle and resiliency programming; and implementing evidence-based interventions to prevent and intervene early for depression, anxiety, and stress in order to support a healthy working and living environment for students, staff, and faculty.
Partnerships and Leadership Engagement
In May 2021, AACN was invited by the Johnson & Johnson Center on Health Workforce Innovation to serve as a collaborator on a national campaign to promote resilience and wellness in the healthcare workforce called All-In WellBeing First for Healthcare. The All-In campaign is bringing leading organizations together – including the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Foundation, American Organization for Nursing Leadership, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, and AACN – to identify a future state where the healthcare workforce feels valued and can sustain a sense of purpose and meaning in their work. The campaign is working to identify and promote strategies, resources, and policies that champion mental health and resilience.
New Essentials Domain 10: Personal, Professional, and Leadership Development
This domain calls for new ways of preparing nursing graduates using activities and self-reflection that foster personal health, resilience, and well-being, as well as the acquisition of nursing expertise and the assertion of leadership. Competency expectations include:
- Demonstrate healthy, self-care behaviors that promote wellness and resiliency
- Contribute to an environment that promotes self-care, personal health, and well-being
- Evaluate the workplace environment to determine level of health and well-being
- Engage in guided and spontaneous reflection of one’s practice
Leadership Development Programs
AACN’s leadership development programs also are committed to elevating awareness of program elements addressing well-being.