Table of Contents
Mental Health System in Australia.
Changes to create sustainable and equitable mental health system..
Role of Counsellors’ and Psychotherapists.
This report aims to examine current attitudes of mental health in Australia. This report will outline and discuss the changes that might be required to create a more sustainable and equitable mental health system in Australia. It will also explain the role of counsellors’ and psychotherapists’ in the mental health system. Mental health plays a very important role in individual’s life starting from childhood to that of adulthood. It directly affects how an individual thinks, their moods and behaviors (Cook 2019). However, most of the people having such issues doesn’t receive treatment and it is an issue that is needed to be considered.
Today, mental health has become one of the serious agenda for Australian Health Care system. Mental health is a state of social and emotional wellbeing. With a good mental health, people can cope up the stress in their life and are able to achieve their potential efficiently. Mental illness accounts for 12 per cent of burden among all the other diseases (Bentley, Pevalin, Baker, Mason, Reeves and Beer 2016). The mental health system of Australia is funded by the Australian government (state and territory government) and they are responsible for delivering the services. The framework of mental health services in Australia is a complex mixture of private and public sector. The facilities provided by Australia to deliver specialized mental health care includes community mental health care services, residential mental health care, admitted hospital care and hospital emergency services. These services include presentations related to health care to emergency department of hospitals, and services through extended care, treatment or rehabilitation. Australia has rated the mental health as third most important priority of nation after environment and economy (Bentley, Pevalin, Baker, Mason, Reeves and Beer 2016).
Australia government is investing a lot for maintain and enhancing the health care services, and mental health and primary care initiatives. According to the survey of National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NSMHWB), around 45 per cent of Australian in their lifetime has experienced a mental disorder. In 2015-16, the spending of Australian government was $9.0 billion on mental health related services (Cook 2019). The mental health services provided by the Australian government includes Medicare subsidized services. The mental health services in Australia are subsidized through Medicare and are provided by social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and general practitioners. These provided services manages psychological problems such as sleep disturbance, anxiety and depression which are the main cause of mental illness.
The survey by National Health Survey in 2017-18 indicated that around 20.1 per cent of population of Australia (4.8 million) are undergoing with mental or behavioral conditions (Van Spijker et al. 2019). For coping with these conditions, the Australian government has started to provide services like homelessness support services and specialized mental health care services. In Australia, mental illness is one of the factor that results is increasing the level of homelessness. In 2016-17, around 27 per cent of people accessed the service of homelessness support who were suffering from mental health issues (Van Spijker et al. 2019).
However, it is recognized that there is an increase in the number of health challenges relating to mental health that can affect the effectiveness of the respective delivery channels. Teaming is a traditional social work practice that has worked well with mental health programs. Different perspectives of individuals who have diverse educational, professional, and personal life experiences integrate when practicing as a team. Instead, informed decision-making and learning based on working solutions or non-working ones that need improvement prevail (Awaworyi Churchill, Farrell and Smyth 2019). Australian government works together to determine the purpose of their mental health intervention and approved the decision-making pathway, the client’s strengths and needs, and action required to facilitate recovery on a given timeline. The Australian government is doing its best in planning and strategizing the alternative for dealing with mental health issues. Responsibilities has been provided to various organization to overcome this issues and providing services to large number of people that are suffering from mental health issues (Happell et al. 2018).
There are various things that the Australian government can do to create a more sustainable and equitable mental health system in Australia. The government should use a tool to control the health care expenditure in order to insure that the public fund are used in a right way to provide interventions that are cost effective and ensures clinically effective health care (Dudgeon, Calma, Brideson and Holland 2016). For sustainable and equitable mental health services it is important that efficient mental health policies are developed, in which areas of actions are mentioned such as quality improvement, advocacy, essential distribution and procurement of medicines, legislations and human rights, financing, treatment and rehabilitation and many more. The government should develop a plan for mental health services for Australian which includes strategies and timelines, targets and indicators, activities, and resources and cost for the services. It will help in reaching number of mental health patients that are not able to access mental health services (Mossialos, Wenzl, Osborn and Sarnak 2016). For creating sustainable and equitable mental health system, the following things should be considered:
High performance systems: High performance system is required to deal with the challenges faced by healthcare system. Proper treatment and services to patients will lead towards better mental health. It is important to focus on interventions that are best practices and whose outcomes are proven as successful through the available evidence (Rowe, Wynter, Burns and Fisher 2017). It will help in reducing the decision-making burden and will increase resource utilization for dealing with mental health problems in a community. Healthcare institutions experience an acute shortage of qualified personnel. In this regard, the establishment of a skilled and supported multidisciplinary workforce is necessary.
Moreover, the staffing considerations should be adequate for making decisions to translate efficient service delivery. Introducing high performance work system (HPWS) is a difficult task, as it requires changing relationships between the management and employees to give the employees more freedom and allow for more autonomous decision making (Rowe, Wynter, Burns and Fisher 2017). The difficulties come from the managers, as they tend to be conservative and are unwilling to provide the necessary autonomy; it is also difficult for them to resist the temptation to hire low-skilled workers to pay lower salaries. Therefore, to establish HPWS in a hospital, it is necessary to work with the management and explain to them the principles of HPWS and the benefits it brings.
Continuous funding and Data privacy: Australis has faced number of challenges related to privacy advocate concerns. The data should be secured by using high technology tools and equipment so that the concern of individual related to their privacy can be resolved. Improving and securing the data will build trust among the people and more number of people will be able to share their issues and problems that are resulting in mental illness (Mossialos, Wenzl, Osborn and Sarnak 2016). The funding structure should be improved so that the challenges faced by Australian health reforms due to fragmented funding can be resolved. Proper and structured funding will improve the mental health services, and will result in improved recovery rates.
Increasing health literacy among consumers: People are needed to be informed about mental health issues and good health choices. Carrying out activities and programs so that people can understand that they are going through depression and anxiety. Empowering people to self-management will ensure better mental health for every individual. It is important to change public attitudes on mental health and the behavior of people towards those having mental health issues. Because society plays a vital role when it comes to mental health concerns. Mental health professionals should use optimistic language and support colleagues and families to celebrate recovery. The organization should recognize the shared responsibility of workers and clients so that the resulting environment is secure for everyone (Mossialos, Wenzl, Osborn and Sarnak 2016). It will also help in getting feedback from the clients and their significant others, as a way of improving service delivery. Local policies should be used to ensure that the procedures taken as part of mental health services are embracing autonomy, self-determination, and choice.
Specialized Teams for Mental health Issues: Teams should be made so that they can work with people in the context of their cultural identity and values to understand people’s triggers and incidences of not being well. The results will support interventions that work towards recovery for unique cases. All personnel will rely on inquisitive and active listening skills in communicating with patients and their families. They will also personalize cases and be supportive and positive with users of aspects of their lives to create friendly and professional relationships. Also, they will incorporate their professional skills to ensure that clients get appropriate choices and personalized support (Dudgeon, Calma, Brideson and Holland 2016). The attitude of health professionals is required to be recognizing and valuing people’s resilience and strength. As a team, professionals will work on fostering willingness within their organization to try new things. They will also support people who are trying new things. Depending on their capabilities, they can make room for other staff members to practice their skills and benefit the organization and then encourage peer support.
All personnel tasked with caregiving will routinely ask about clients’ wishes and support needs. They will review goals, values, and interests, and then use the information as the basis of care personalization. They will network and build collaborative programs with health service providers working in non-mental capacities to ensure a holistic approach to mental health recovery for clients (Ellis, Churruca and Braithwaite 2017). Besides, they will seek information concerning services that a customer has had before being referred to them for a particular service. Professionals will be encouraged to make home visiting and conduct environmental assessments as a way of improving outcomes. They will actively find flexibility in responding to client needs or availability. The management will encourage regular case conferences to sustain a culture of improvement and support clients’ access to a broad spectrum of services (Rowe, Wynter, Burns and Fisher 2017).
Teams are needed to be build according to localized needs and resources for a particular organization. This will include professionals, caregivers, community stakeholders, and clients. The communication approaches and working strategies that teams use must follow all health regulations currently in place (Ellis, Churruca and Braithwaite 2017). They must also be respectful of organizational rules. There will be a distinction between the people making up the team and the meetings that they hold to facilitate communication and coordination of their work. The nature of meetings will depend on case urgency and the need for intervention. On the other hand, membership in teams will be dynamic and flexible, reflecting changes in client needs during the recovery process, as well as the availability of resources like funding, policy guidelines, and level of demand for mental health services in the organization (Ellis, Churruca and Braithwaite 2017).
Social Awareness: The application of commercial marketing principles in healthcare allows health care professionals to make effective health interventions at the community level. Here, techniques that work in the commercial sector are applied in the health care setting as methods of promoting behavior change socially in cases like smoking and sexual behavior. It includes the use of mediated, interpersonal, and other forms of communication (Paton and Hiscock 2019). There will also be the use of marketing approaches to communication, like the placement of messages in health premises such as clinics. Public awareness campaigns that promote and disseminate information at a community level. The belief of social marketing approach emanates from the fact that consumers need adequate involvement in their care. Working collaboratively with consumers and their caregivers, as well as family members provides a community approach that is necessary for sustaining a recovery-oriented program. Besides this, it is important to follow the value of population-based planning and service delivery, which implies that practitioners and organization management will work towards providing services as close as possible to the clients (Paton and Hiscock 2019).
The role of counsellor is to work in a confidential setting with individual who are experiencing personal difficulties so that they can help them to overcome their problems and make appropriate changes to their lives by listing them and encouraging and empowering to deal with the ongoing situation (Johnson and Brookover 2020). Counselling also includes mentoring students with specific learning disabilities. The professional can also provide appropriate instructions in order to produce the best outcomes. Mental health workers also use their competencies to address the behavioral, social, as well as emotional problems. While the role of psychotherapist is to work with patients or clients for a longer period of time and draws from insight into emotional problems and difficulties (Barnett 2019). Psychologists can work in different health, institutional, and organizational settings. Their skills and competences make it easier for them to provide appropriate care, support, and guidance to individuals with various psychological problems. A mental health practitioner will assess the cognitive and developmental abilities of the targeted learners. In the field of psychotherapy and counselling, confidentiality is one of the primary elements that are significant in patients that therapists interact with on a daily basis.
Imperatively, it is very crucial to ensure that the information that patients or clients relay to therapists is confidential since most of them relate to issues that affect their personal lives. Therefore, several individuals prefer to have the information private or confidential. Confidentiality is one of the major codes that govern the conduct of therapists and other individuals in the medical arena (Johnson and Brookover 2020). However, some situations compel the therapists to seek attention from third parties, who may be the family members, relatives, or close friends of the patient. When psychotherapists share personal information, conflicts arise because subject clients become annoyed and they can sue them in court for breaching the code of ethics. Client consent and public empowerment regarding confidential information and delineation of what requires sharing are among the solutions that minimize conflicts related to sharing of personal information. Role of Counsellors’ and Psychotherapists are not that distinctive as a counselling is a part of psychotherapy process whereas counsellor may work in psychotherapeutic manner with client. A little difference between these roles is that counselling is a short term process whereas psychotherapy is a long term process (Barnett 2019).
It can be concluded that the report has examined the current attitudes of mental health in Australia. It has outlined and discussed the changes that might be required to create a more sustainable and equitable mental health system in Australia. The changes required are high performance system, continuous funding and data privacy, increasing help literacy among mental health consumers, social awareness, and specialized teams for mental health issues. It has also explained the role of counsellors’ and psychotherapists’ in the mental health system. It is important for an individual to have a good mental health in order to achieve the required potential. Improved and enhanced mental health services should be provided by the Australian government to the people who are suffering from such issues. For sustainable and equitable mental health services it is important that efficient mental health policies and plans are developed.
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Bentley, R.J., Pevalin, D., Baker, E., Mason, K., Reeves, A. and Beer, A. 2016. Housing affordability, tenure and mental health in Australia and the United Kingdom: a comparative panel analysis. Housing Studies, 31(2), pp.208-222.
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