Consultation Liaison Special Interest Group


The primary purpose of the ACMHN Consultation Liaison (CL) Special Interest Group (SIG) is to promote interest in and the development of CL nursing.

The CL SIG provides members of the College who have a particular interest in CL with a forum for exchanging news, views, and ideas in this evolving and emerging sub specialty in mental health nursing. The CL SIG promotes research endeavours and other matters of interest in CL by sponsoring an annual conference and via other means such as meetings or workshops that are considered timely and worthwhile. The CL SIG operates within the framework of the College's general guidelines for SIGs.

What does a CL mental health nurse do?

Broadly, a CL nurse focuses on the mental health care of people in non-psychiatric (generalist) settings, most commonly but not exclusively, in general hospital wards, emergency departments, and nursing homes.

The CL nurse aims to improve outcomes in patient care from a mental health perspective through working directly with patients and indirectly through increasing the capacity of staff to recognise and attend to the mental health needs of patients in these settings.

A CL nurse:

  • Works with patients and their relatives providing expert mental health assessment and intervention
  • Provides guidance, education, and support to generalist staff caring for the patient and collaborates with them in developing a plan of care
  • Acts as a positive role model to generalist staff in psychiatric - mental health care and practice
  • Works with the organisation or department as a mental health resource on mental health related projects, education and policy development
  • Acts as a link between generalist and mental health services (public, and private, hospital, and community)


The CL SIG provides a suite of resources which are available to the public and that mental health nurses might find useful. 

Top tips for CL Nurses

Learn more about best practice in the field of clinical liaison nursing from some of the ACMHN's most experienced mental health nurses. 

2007 Consultation Liaison survey

To better understand the Consultation Liaison specialty area, the CL SIG conducted a survey amongst its members highlighting the kind of roles CL nurses work in, what titles they use, and how much they enjoy their work,

The history of the CL SIG

This poster outlines concisely outlines the history of the Consultation Liaison SIG. The SIG presented this at the International Conference in 2014.

The impact of Mental Health Nurse Consultants on the care of general hospital patients experiencing concurrent mental health conditions: An integrative literature review

This open-access article in the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing by Julie Sharrock, Brenda Happell, and Sarah Yeun-Sim Jeong provides a literature review on the impact of Mental Health Nurse Consultants on the care of general hospital patients experiencing concurrent mental health conditions.

Join the SIG

Given the nature of this mental health sub speciality, nurses working in this field are usually pretty independent practitioners and often don't have regular contact with peers who share CL Nurse experiences and interests. This SIG offers CL nurses a way to connect with each other. You will need to log into the membership portal first to join.

Join the SIG

The Mental Health Consultation Liaison Nurse Network aims to link peers for an exchange of information and ideas. No matter where you live and work, if you're a mental health/psychiatric consultation liaison nurse you are very welcome to join our email network.