A Message from the ISPN Board of Directors and Diversity & Equity Committee

The International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN) was officially inaugurated in 1999 at the First Annual ISPN Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. ISPN’s mission is "to support advanced-practice psychiatric-mental health nurses in promoting mental health care, literacy, and policy worldwide". Through the dedicated work of Diversity and Equity Committee members, we deliberately address population needs for a mental health workforce that is diverse and intentional about addressing all forms of racism, discrimination, bias, and injustice. As an organization, we sorrowfully acknowledge the civil unrest that has surfaced across the world in response to a) the disproportionately high death rates of Black, Latino, American Indian/Native American, and impoverished citizens during the COVID-19 Pandemic; and b) the injustice of racism made recently most apparent by the killing of George Floyd by officers of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, Police Department. We condemn this act of inhumanity and continue to be committed to our work to create a society that embraces the health and well-being of all people. We know that now more than ever, our world is in need of compassionate mental health providers to serve as a balm to pervasive trauma, a tool to prevent avoidable health inequities, and an approach to addressing the psychosocial factors that create conditions for oppression and injustice. ISPN envisions a future in which racism is eliminated and diversity, equity, and inclusion exists and are celebrated. We remain dedicated to joining with others to promote equitable, quality mental health care for individuals, families, and communities.

Deborah Johnson, DNP, NP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, ISPN President
ISPN Board of Directors
ISPN Diversity & Equity Committee


ISPN President's Message

Whether you are a founding member or new to ISPN, it is my pleasure to serve you as the incoming president of this phenomenal organization. Little did I imagine that my role as your president would be amidst such difficult times for ISPN (and the world). The COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping across the world just as ISPN leaders were preparing for our annual conference, awards, and transfer of leadership. This has required us to tap into our resilience for unprecedented creativity, flexibility, and resourcefulness. As psychiatric mental health nurse leaders, educators, and clinicians, I am confident that we can model these qualities amidst difficult challenges.

Speaking of models, it is my pleasure to thank the outgoing Past President of ISPN, Steven Pryjmachuk, for his presidential leadership these past three years. We are fortunate that Steven continues to serve as Chair of the Communications Committee for ISPN. Vicki Hines-Martin will continue as Past President this year. She deserves much thanks for leading the Board in these unprecedently months. The Board welcomes Cheryl Woods Giscombe as President Elect, and Julie Bertram as Director for a second two-year term. ISPN is fortunate to have each of these visionary nurses guiding the organization.

At this unprecedented time, I want to thank each of you for your leadership across the globe, wherever you are actively engaged in serving the mental health needs of your communities. The impact of our world’s pandemic creates new challenges for those who already struggle with mental health issues and increases the critical importance of access to care. As shelter-in-place orders require greater use of technology, we find opportunities to share and replicate effective interventions across the globe. For example, Ukamaka Oruche has developed tips for parents in maintaining children’s mental and emotional well-being during COVID-19. At UCSF, students and faculty have joined forces with the medical center to provide behavioral health care for the most vulnerable in our community, transition in-person to telepsychiatry services, and provide peer-to-peer support. What innovations are you engaged in? The ISPN e-listserv is a great place to share your news. You can also send announcements to [email protected]. We have much to learn from one another.

By now you have heard that ISPN’s Annual Conference will be held virtually from June 23 to 26. The COVID-19 pandemic timing could not have been more challenging for our organization, with travel restrictions implemented just as our conference was ready to launch. Please join me in thanking our outgoing (past) President, Vicki Hines-Martin, Executive Director, Jessica Retzlaff, Treasurer, Shawn Gallagher, and the rest of the Board and Foundation members for their diligent effort and leadership. Together with the Conference and Membership Committees, ISPN leaders have tapped into deep wells of creativity, flexibility, and resourcefulness to bring this conference to our membership in a new and adaptive way! If you haven’t already marked your calendars for the new date, please do! It will be wonderful to have you all there.

I am inspired by the World Health Organization’s April 2020 “State of the World’s Nursing” report, which highlights the critical importance of nursing practice, education, and leadership to achieve universal health coverage. The report serves as a reminder that we are better together (even when socially distanced!) and provides policy recommendations for impacting global health. I trust that our upcoming Virtual Conference and the year ahead will provide exciting opportunities to move forward together. 


Deborah Johnson, DNP, PMHNP-BC
ISPN President

ISPN Mission:

To support advanced-practice psychiatric-mental health nurses in 
promoting mental health care, literacy, and policy worldwide.


Archives of Psychiatric Nursing

Official Journal of ISPN

A subscription to Archives of Psychiatric Nursing is a benefit of membership.

Read the Journal

ISPN Gift of Membership

We encourage you to think of a student—or two—whose membership you might sponsor by paying the student's first year of ISPN membership dues of $35. 

A special way to reach out to graduates as well is to support their entry into ISPN by sponsoring their first year of ISPN membership dues of $150. 

Gift of Membership Form

 The IMIN Mentoring Program

The ISPN Mentoring Initiative Navigator Program, or IMIN, is a capacity building project started in 2014 and sponsored by the ISPN Membership Committee. The IMIN model was designed by Dr. Beth Bonham with two aims: to increase an involved membership in ISPN by connecting new members with seasoned ISPN members; and to facilitate leadership succession planning by mentoring members into leadership positions.

The seasoned ISPN member who volunteers to mentor through participation in IMIN may meet the new member initially at the annual conference and share time with the new member that may include meeting for coffee, planning dinner, and introducing the new member to the wider network of ISPN members. The mentor/mentee model can be implemented in any way that is comfortable for the dyad and for any length of time the dyad decides – activities may range from an occasional telephone or email check in to a structured clinical supervision. IMIN is a voluntary program for any members as well as a pathway to quickly connect new members with the larger organization.

Read More and Apply