Policy determines much of what nurses actually do on a daily basis, which means it is essential for nurses to engage with policy if they are to understand their own practice. Mental health nursing in particular has been shaped by a variety of policy factors in the past fifty years. In this new textbook, edited by the mental health advisor to the Royal College of Nursing, a range of experts in their field introduce the essential elements of mental health policy to students and experienced practitioners. The book covers a broad range of areas, including settings for care and the historical context, policy affecting various diagnoses and service user groups, and how policy is translated into action. Clinical examples are drawn on throughout, to help students think about the real-life context of what can be a difficult subject.