The erosion of nursing in Dutch mental health care: A critique on the proliferation of psychologists
Journal os Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
School of Nursing and Midwifery
The budget for Dutch mental health care has become twice as expensive over a period of less than 15 years, a growing budget which is not spent on the care for people with severe and ongoing mental health issues usually delivered by nurses and social workers. Instead, there is a proliferation of psychologists in mental health since the introduction of market forces in this field in the early 2000s, resulting in a shift of focus towards treating mild problems. In this discussion paper, the role of market forces as an engine behind the inflation of psychic and behavioural diagnoses, and the role of psychologists therein is criticized. The Dutch national government aims to realize a resilient society. Therefore, professionals are needed who can encourage the capabilities of clients. The role of nurses and social workers needs to be revalued as they are the professionals who are best suited to achieve this.