Donna Duncan RPN
“A conduit for change,” is how Donna Duncan describes her role as a psychiatric nurse, and how she hopes to inspire new hires and students that regularly spend time at the Mission Mental Health Centre (located not far from downtown Mission, B.C.).
Donna asserts that as health care providers, we cannot “empower” another human being. What we can do, is be there to support and educate clients and their families, to ensure that the individual’s own internal forces are marshalled and mobilized–so that they may be able to empower themselves. Thus it is that we take our professional and personal life experiences and education … and subsequently convey this storehouse carefully and meaningfully to our clientele.
One aspect that Donna spoke about at length, was the perpetuation of the impact that trauma may have played in the psychological make-up or experience of many of our clients. It is not in dispute that some people live with endogenous forms of mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar illness, anxiety or depressive disorders. In many cases, the progenitors for their respective vulnerability was set in motion at conception or neo-nataly. It could also be that toxic or other insults damaged the person’s central nervous system along the way.
However, we are beginning to truly appreciate that for a great many of our clients, some features we see within them later in life, are as a consequence of trauma … keeping in mind that the event or events were traumatic from the individual’s perception and experience–not ours.