Male perspectives on mental health nursing, through promoting collaborative student-led gender-transformative events. Student-led gender transformative mental health film

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Male perspectives on mental health nursing, through promoting collaborative student-led gender-transformative events.

Deirdre O’Neill, Callum McDonald, Iain W. McGowan, Colin Hughes, Derek McLaughlin, Pauline McCarthy, Anne Grant, Karen Galway.

Background: Nursing remains a predominantly female industry, despite efforts to re-balance gender norms within the profession. Mental health nursing leads this charge, with a ratio of 5:2 females to males, compared to 9:1 in nursing as a whole (UK figures: NMC Equality and Diversity Report 2017-2018 and student body at Queen’s University). As such mental health nurses are well placed to drive gender-transformative efforts to encourage improved gender-equality in the profession.

Aim: to produce a gender-transformative reflective resource, based on the personal stories of males training to join the mental health nursing profession, for multiple uses including training, education and self-care.

Methods: Forty second year mental health nursing students volunteered to take part in a student-led initiative as part of Mental Health Awareness week (2019) while studying a field specific module “Dimensions of Care”. A sub-set of male students decided to contribute reflective accounts on gender-specific self-care from a male perspective, in order to produce a resource for others.

Results: Shared suggestions and discussions involving both female and male students, produced a set of questions to form the basis for the resource: What encouraged you to take up mental health nursing? How do you feel the public perceive male nurses? How do you manage your own mental health? The questions were used to facilitate interviews which were filmed, resulting in a mini-documentary resource being produced (8 minutes long).

Conclusion: Within 3 weeks, the students co-produced an engaging reflective mini-documentary resource and presented the process and the resource to staff from across the university as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. The resource has been embraced as a core element of the recruitment, education and training within the School and also attracting enquiries from NHS Trusts, reaching 57,932 views on social media within the first 3 months.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 05 Oct 2019
Event8th European Conference on Mental Health : ECMH - ICC (International Convention Centre) , Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 02 Oct 201904 Oct 2019
Conference number: 8


Conference8th European Conference on Mental Health
Abbreviated titleECMH
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address



  • student-led
  • co-produced
  • mental health promotion
  • Masculinities
  • mental health Nursing

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