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Blog: Global Mental Health

Arthur Klienman, in his article “Global Mental Health: A Failure of Humanity” in 2009, states that the underdeveloped countries have severe consequences for the people going through mental disorders. They are either chained down, locked in small concrete rooms, sent to the mental hospitals, instead of being provided with proper treatment and medication, which heighten their problems. However, the problem of mental disorders has not changed today they are still persistent (Kleinman, 2009). Many experts still have the belief that mental disorder is a dysfunction and that it is biological, that is, it is genetic and is caused due to a chemical imbalance in the brain; however, this may not be the case always. There are people who face mental issues due to severe stress, or the happenings around them (Kopinak, 2015).

Today, family doctors, nurses, social workers and even lay counsellors can also do the treatment being provided to people facing mental issues is quite a huge process, which is given by psychiatrists mainly, but treatment. However, the treatment given by each individual is different, which many affect the mentally affected person negatively, which may worsen his/her situation. According to Klienman, inhumane treatment was provided to the people in poorer countries, where they are deprived of their basic human rights, and this continues to today. In Jakarta, Indonesia, about 400 people are present in the Yayasan Galuh, which is a mental health facility, where there are patients, and not prisoners. Yet, they are not treated as patients, but maybe even worse. Patients at this facility who do not co-operate, were chained to the bars of their cells, so that they would not run away, which is considered as the correct process for patients suffering from schizophrenia, both in Indonesia and other developing countries. Further, the Chief Secretary of the Yayasan Galuh has no college degree and proper training in taking care of mentally affected people. Until 2013, no licensed psychiatrists were available for advice and training (Emont, 2016).

Another issue raised by Klienman, was the problems related to funds (Kleinman, 2009). The government, where mental disorder is a huge problem and is spread globally, does no proper funding. This makes the families in the poorer countries have pay for the treatment of their loved ones, and eventually run out of funds, as they do not have much to offer. After running out of funds, the family members, instead of protecting their member affected by mental disorder begin rejecting him/her. Further developing nations, still today, have lesser number of psychiatrists available and people consider going to the psychiatrist as an omen, or a bad sign, which is due to their disbeliefs. The developing countries do not see mental health as an important aspect of an individual’s life and thus, not enough finding is provided to create a proper mental healthcare system.

There have been various issues which have been seen regarding mental health of a person. One friend has been suffering from depression. Till date, she has not received any proper treatment for her illness because her family does not consider depression as an illness. Further, the place where she lives has no proper treatment facilities or doctors and psychiatrists available to be able to look into the matter. This shows that even in 2020, there are not proper treatments available and the government still does not consider introducing different programs for the welfare of its people.

In Uganda, there is limited access, shortage of skilled-staff members, short stock of medicines and a weak preventive system for mentally affected people. There is gender-based violence in Uganda, where more than 80% of the female patients receiving trauma-based treatments have reported at least one case of sexual assault during the time period of their treatment (Kopinak, 2015).

As Klienman states that the moral conditions of people suffering from depression, dementia, psychosis have not improved and they still live in dreadful forms, globally (Kleinman, 2009). Women, living in developing or under-developed countries suffer from various health issues during pregnancy and childbirth, and not much significance is given to antenatal depression in these countries. This kind of depression has a huge impact on the mental, psychological, physical as well as the complete well-being of the mother and the child. The government does not give much importance to taking care of the mothers and children as there are no low-cost interventions which include psychotherapy sessions at the maternity clinics, as well as partner and relationship support services (Flinders University, 2020). These are considered important to keep booth the mother and child safe and well.

In the study of Yearwoods and Case (2017), it was stated that more than 40% of the countries globally have no health policies, which severely affects the people with mental illness. Further, the nurses are not completely being used as resources in the mental health promotion as well as their well-being. Additionally, in the study of Charlson, et al. (2015), it was said that mental health which is a non-communicable disease has increased from 36% to 49% among the lo and middle-income people from 1990-2010. 

Still today, in developing and under-developed countries, people choose not to talk about their mental health, as they are concerned about the society, when it should be made an important aspect of their life for their own well-being. Even the government does not take steps to look into the matters concerning the mental-health of its citizens. Many times, the person suffering from mental illness can be cured, if proper treatment and a supportive environment is created, however, this is not the case in many countries. People look down upon people with mental disorders and maybe even ridicule them, to a point where they lose their entire consciousness.

Klienman’s article is said to be acceptable even today, because if the Governments introduce different processes and steps to overcome mental illnesses, it is up to the citizens to abide by them, consider people suffering from mental issues, and help them. There are still places where the mentally affected people are being treated with harshness and inhumanely, which must be stopped for them to heal and become better people.

Group 1:

This group focused mainly on the History of the mental health nursing and provided information on how it is closely knit with the development and deterioration of the asylums, which acted as a source of providing shelter to the people suffering from mental issues. They further discussed how the nurses play a significant role in taking care of the patients and how they have a longer history and have played an important role in improving the lives of the patients as well as the communities. However, they should have focused more on the aspect of nurses being able to help build proper asylums instead on the history of the mental health nursing, which would help the listeners to understand their importance. 

Group 2:

This group provided information regarding the processes of e-mental health and its effect on the contemporary methods of nursing. They stated both the positive aspects as well as the negative aspects of the e-mental health processes and compared it to the contemporary methods of treatment. The different effects on the development of the e-mental health systems on the contemporary methods were also provided. Their blog was interesting as this allowed us to know the different aspects of the various types of methods being introduced for the welfare of the people suffering from mental illnesses, but instead of providing the negative aspects of e-mental health, only the positive aspects would have been more interesting.

Group 3:

This group had selected the topic regarding the role of the mental health nurses in the physical care of the people facing mental issues. This group highlighted the various difficulties as well the role, played by nurses in taking care of the mentally ill patients. They have further stated that there have been many debates, internationally, regarding the role which mental health nurses play in managing the health of the mentally ill people. These nurses, as portrayed by the group are significant people in the lives of mental patients, as they are not able to take care of themselves, as the nurses must always be there to be able to take care of them. Instead of highlighting the debates regarding the role of the nurses, they should have given importance to the role of the nurses in the lives of mentally ill people.

Group 4:

This group focused mainly on the role of the nurses and how they can help to secure the basic human rights of the patients. They provided information on mental health patients and how they are deprived of their rights, being given barbaric treatment, and then they provided information on how the nurses can play a significant role in helping the patients receive proper treatment according to their rights, where they will be given various choices and options regarding the treatment which they will receive. This group should have only focused on the role of the nurses in bringing justice to their patients, rather than on mentioning the various treatments being given to them.

Group 5:

This group focused on the various aspects of violence, aggression and its relation to mental health. They stated that the treatment of other human beings towards a mentally affected patients is one of the major reasons for their violent and aggressive behavior. They even provided information regarding the nurses and their role how they can help in calming the patient down and not behave aggressively. They stated the various reasons for a person suffering from mental illness such as bullying, physical abuse and various other reasons. This has helped in understanding the different reasons affecting a person, which may have an impact on their personal lives also. Although they had mentioned that the treatment of others affects mentally ill people and the various reasons for it, they should have mainly focused on the role of the nurses in taking care of their patients and calming them down.

Bibliography for Blog: Global Mental Health

Emont, J. (2016). The prison of mental illness in Indonesia. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-09-14/developing-countries-struggle-with-treating-mental-illness

Flinders University. (2020). Maternal Depression on rise in poor countries, Plos One, Retrieved from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-01/fu-mdo012120.php

Kleinman, A. (2009). Global mental health: A failure of humanity. The Lancet, 374 (9690), 603-604. Retrieved from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61510-5/fulltext

Kopinak, J. K. (2015). Mental Health in developing countries: challenges and opportunites in Introducing Western Mental Health System in Uganda. Int J MCH AIDS, 3(1), 22-30. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4948168/

Yearwood, E. L., & Case, S. R. (2017). Overview of mental health in low-, middle- and high-income global communities. In: E. L. Yearwood & V. P. Hines-Martin (eds.), Routledge handbook of global mental health nursing. Milton Park, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 3-18.

Charlson, F. J., Baxter, A. J., Dua, T., Degenhardt, L., Whiteford, H. & Vos, T. (2015). Excess mortality from mental, neurological and substance use disorders in the global burden of disease study 2010. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences.

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