Structural competency in mental health nursing: Understanding and applying key concepts

Roberta Waite, Dena Hassouneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Achieving mental health equity requires that nursing address structures that impede the ability of individuals and populations to achieve optimal mental health. Consistent with calls for structural change, this paper intends to promote structural competency in mental health nursing by applying this concept to the field. The first half of the paper discusses structural competency and key concepts vital for its development, namely, structure, social influencers of mental health, equity, structural justice, and historical understanding. In the second half we apply structural competency to mental health nursing at the educational, practice and system levels and conclude with recommendations for change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of psychiatric nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Mental health equity
  • Nursing education
  • Nursing practice
  • Structural competency
  • Structural justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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