Introducing the Nurses’ Health Program
Ontario’s 175,000 nurses have a new voluntary program that focuses on early identification and referral for treatment of mental health and/or substance use disorders.
The Nurses’ Health Program (NHP) recognizes these disorders as illnesses and takes a non-punitive approach that reduces stigma and focuses on recovery. It embraces the philosophy that nurses experiencing these disorders should have an opportunity for education, treatment and recovery. It recognizes their unique needs as health care professionals and the importance of protecting the public.
NHP offers a proven approach, and is modelled on similar programs used by other regulated health professions. The new bilingual program offers nurses access to resources, a dedicated case manager, comprehensive assessment, an individualized support and treatment plan, and monitoring.
“There is significant research showing that voluntary and confidential professional health programs are highly effective both in supporting recovery and protecting the public,” says Anne Coghlan, CNO’s Executive Director and CEO.
NHP was developed by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), and Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO). It is an incorporated not-for-profit organization overseen by a board of directors with equal representation from the four nursing organizations and administered by Lifemark Health Group.
You can find out more about the program at nurseshealth.ca.