I just came across the letter about bipolar disorder in a recent issue ("Facing Bipolar Disorder," Letters, January 2007). I did my doctoral research on nurses with a mental illness-their workplace experiences, support from staff, disclosure, and so forth. Many nurses aren't very kind to their colleagues with mental health problems. And, unlike nurses with a drug or alcohol problem who can turn to Alcoholics Anonymous and similar support groups, those with mental problems have had no organizations to support them, at least in Australia.
As a result of my study, a support group has been initiated specifically for nurses who have a mental illness. The support is given via e-mail and a monthly newsletter. We have members from various states in Australia as well as from New Zealand.
Because e-mail support isn't restricted by distance, becoming a member of the group is easy. Nurses with mental health problems can enjoy the benefits of knowing that they're not alone and share their experiences with other nurses in the same position. If anyone is interested in joining our group, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
TERRY JOYCE, RN, PhD
Callaghan, N.S.W., Australia