End of year Message

Dear colleague,

2017 was quite remarkable and eventful for the Maltese Association of Psychiatric Nurses and I do feel a sense of satisfaction when thinking about the right words to give my farewell.

2017 will be remembered as a crucial year in the history of the psychiatric nursing profession in Malta, as in April 2017, the MAPN published and launched a very important document for Maltese Psychiatric Nurses, the Standards. The standards give a sense of pride not only to the association but also to every nurse who works in mental health. They represent a collective effort in their compilation and publishing, and give a snapshot of the role, and also guidance and direction for nurses who work and have interest in mental health. 2018

Following that, the MAPN held and organized the most attended festival of psychiatric nursing in Europe. This was the third time that the Horatio Festival was held in Malta, and all those who attended can vouch that it was another success. This year we have seen a number of renowned and distinguished international speakers including Jon Allen, Profs. Michel Probst, Dr Levin Hofgaard and the familiar and Maltese loving Profs. Shirley Smoyak.

The MAPN also participated in the conference organized by the People and Standards Division and the Employee Support programme and collaborated with the Practice Development Unit in the deliverance of training and seminars with a mental health theme and the #stopstigma campaign launched by the Department of Mental Health at the University of Malta.

This year was also marked by certain issues in the MHS which as MAPN, we felt we should give our input. This is not always a straightforward situation. As MAPN we are committed in empowering, promoting and safeguarding the psychiatric nursing profession but at the same time we cannot act as a trade union. It is in these circumstances that our affiliation with the MUMN comes in. There were times when we notified the MUMN about certain concerns and at other times we made contact with the management directly, with the best interest of our profession at heart.

Next year does not seem to be any easier. We have planned to do a series of sessions about the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Standards, where we will be involving you, as MAPN members in the running of these sessions. Also, we are planning to organize a seminar about nursing interventions in mental health, later on in the year. We will continue to collaborate with the Practice Development Unit in in-house training delivery and continue to meet with the management and other stakeholders to promote and empower the work of the psychiatric mental health nurse.

I would like to conclude by thanking you as MAPN member for your input in the association, and also for the work which you do. Remember that every time you step into your place of work, you will be wearing the role of the PMHN. Be proud of what you do, but also responsible for your actions. Keep in mind that you are making a difference, in someone’s life.

Finally, I would like to give a big hug to my fellow council, whom without them, we would have not achieved all we did during this year, namely, Alexei Sammut (Vice President), Mark Vassallo (Secretary), Roberto Galea (Treasurer), Bernice Gauci (Vice Secretary), Sarah Ebejer (PRO), Julie Stevenson (International Advisor), Maria Sapiano, Kevin Gafa and Damian Gouder (General Committee Members). We truly make a great team!

On behalf of all the MAPN council, I wish you and your loved ones a lovely Christmas, and a prosperous 2018.

Pierre Galea
MAPN – President