Mental disorders constitute a huge global burden of disease, and there is a large treatment gap, particularly in low income and middle-income countries.The recommendations by the United Nations in the SDG goals and the 2030 Mental Health care plan alongside other prescripts has led to many changes being made particularly in the care of the mental health patients.

Psychiatric nurses play an increasingly important function in the provision of services meant to alleviate the suffering of psychiatric patients.  South Africa has recently experienced one of its dark pages in the history of mental health; and questions have been raised to highlight the daunting challenges of psychiatric nurses.

The Mental Health Nurses Symposium will convene a gathering of mental health nurses and allied professionals to explore challenges faced by mental health nurses; and further to discuss possible recommendations to strengthen the critical role played by psychiatric professionals in South Africa.