Book Reviews

Stories in Mental Health 2012

Debra Nizette
RN, Credentialed MHN, DipAppSc(Nursing Ed), BAppSc(Nursing), MNurStudies, FRCNA, FACMHN , Mental Health Nursing Advisor, Office of the Chief Nursing Officer; Queensland Health.

Margaret McAllister
BA Qld., MEd Aust.Cath., EdD Qld.UT, RN, MHN, FACMHN, MRCNA, Professor of Nursing, Mental Health Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Peta Marks
Director, Australian Health Consulting (Mental Health), Senior Projects Officer, Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

Mosby Elsevier
Sydney 2012
ISBN: 9780729540971

Type and scope of the book
This book boasts a complete learning experience that is more than just a textbook. It incorporates the use of both the hardcopy text along with the internet learning to capture the reader’s interests with in-depth stories of mental health.

This textbook is easy to read and provides a diverse perspective of both clinicians and the consumers’ experiences with mental health. Overall this book allows for further learning opportunities, better understanding and support towards mental health in our community.

Part 1
Behind the scenes
Part 2
Setting the scene
Part 3
Stories from consumers, carers and clinicians

The number one strength of this book is that it is very interactive. It utilises various modes of media to engage the reader to learn and find out more about mental health in different perspectives. It caters to a range of readers from novices to health care professionals as each section of the book is clearly set out and is written in an easy to read manner.

The text gives a great overview of mental health from different perspectives. That of the health care professionals as well as the people they care for. It examines how mental health can affect each individual personally. Each chapter is very thorough in capturing the reader mind to examine, reflect and inquire to each story. The extra websites option is for the reader to ascertain more information.

Also the set up is easy on the eye as each chapter includes pictures of the main characters so readers can gather a better context of the stories. And each part of text is clearly marked and separated into easy to read sections so that the reader does not become board of reading long paragraphs.These were real stories and thus was a great insight to others lives. The stories the reader can feel the frustrations and problems that the stories unfold.

A diverse range of stories are presented with a broad array of mental health stories. The stories are Australian so this attracts the reader to go further in the readings. It is interesting reading their attempts for positive change. To try to understand their problems, ethos and attempts to manage.

Although the book is reasonable in size and is easy to read it has its downfall in requiring the reader to utilise the internet to open up the main story in each chapter. It was very time consuming having to registering with the website which then allowed you to access the links to open the stories. Utilising the computer and internet can also become a major problem for readers which do not have any access to such technologies.

Another main deficiency is that readying such stories may at times become repetitive and although is interesting it lacks substance for further theoretical learning. In the first two chapters there are references for further textbook readings however again may prove to be troublesome as it requires flicking back and forth. There is no order to the stories. More clients could have been used in comparison to clinicians.

Recommended readership
Due to the easy to read nature of this text, everyone and anyone can read this book. Especially readings attempting to gain better understanding into how mental health affects real people in the community as well as how consumer and clinician interact within their scope of experiences. Previous knowledge on theories is essential for the reader to apply to stories and gain understanding. Emergency nurses manage many diverse mental health patients and these stories represent our client groups.

Overall rating
This book rates a overall 3 ½ stars especially for its easy to read nature. It did lose so points on its lack of link to academic theoretical context. Although this book is as an easy read for novice readers to gather a beginners view into real mental health stories. Experienced clinicians may take the most benefit from the stories, gaining further insight into diverse Australian mental health practice settings.