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  • Subject Name : Mental health


Mental health is important for overall health and is included in the holistic concept of health and wellbeing and imbalance inthe same can affect the social behaviour of a person. The present academic paper aims to discuss the given case study in light of the psychosocial issues, given informal support, professionals or agencies, gaps in the mental service and advocacy required for the patient. The present case is of Ms. Julie who is married to Ben and is the mother of two children, one son and one daughter. She cares for her children while Ben works two jobs. Julie has a history of post-partum depression which she had come over the depression and was more social, interactive and physically active. In recent times, Ben has noticed that Julie is not been cooking or cleaning the house but on being asked she changes the topic. It is also noted that she has cleared the bank balance because she bought a car.

Psychosocial Issues for Julie

In the present case, it is seen that Julie is showing withdrawn. She had earlier started being more social and the coping mechanisms for the depression had worked and she had come out of it. She was being socially and physically active. She is withdrawn now as she is reluctant to talk about her lagging in duties as a carer for her children. Her husband Ben has found that their children have been hungry which the outlook of what Julie is might be going through psychologically as she would not be feeling like doing anything. When an attempt is made by Ben to understand what is going on but it was seen that Julie was reluctant to speak about it. It is often seen that people who are going through psychological issues might show some or other kinds of reaction (Watson, 2017).

It is seen that they may either get holed up or spend too much. In this case, also the similar thing is seen where Julie has spent more than they could afford to such an extent that is has impacted other aspects of their lives. Suffering from psychological issues affect the person as well as those around him/her and more importantly theimmediate family like spouse and children and the same is seen in the present case as well. According to the definition of health, it is a holistic concept and it is required that all the aspects of health are required so that a person and lead a socially and economically productive life (Svalastog et al., 2017). In the present case, it is seen that the social aspect of life is affected by Julie and has affected the economic condition of the family.

Informal Supports

When someone is going through psychological problems, it is seen that having support is one of the most important things which can help the person to pull through. The care or support provided to Julie can be formal as well as informal. She has a history of post-partum depression and the present outburst can be an extension of previous experience. The first informal support that Julie requires is from her husband Ben as there is an aspect of joint paternal and maternal aspect to the experience of pregnancy (Nakamura et al., 2020). It is seen that it can affect the parents as well as children and in turn affect the interaction that is seen between children and parents (Murray et al., 2018).

If parental post-partum depression isnot tackled appropriately, it can affect the social life, healthcare and show deterioration in the quality of life (Bauer et al., 2016). The other informal support that is required for Julie can be obtained from the family and friends. The care and support provided by the parents of Julie can be profound at this time as they can help in taking care of children when Julie can recuperate from her psychological condition. There is a social support group which can also be utilized where people going through similar condition can meet and share their stories which can help others (O'Neill et al., 2019). The rationale behind this is that at times it feels easy to speak to strangers rather than with someone who knows the background and it helps in putting things into perspective (Bloom, 2017).

Professionals and Agencies

Along with informal support, formal or professional support must be given to someone who is going through psychological issues (Kellner et al., 2019). It is not mentioned in the case history whether there was any professional help sought when Julie was suffering from post-partum depression. From the case study given, it can be seen that there were coping mechanisms used but no mention of any professional help or medication. The first professional support that is required is that Julie should be referred to as the general practitioner. This is required first so that there can be an evaluation of the psychological state. The second professional support that is required for Julie is from a psychiatrist. Psychiatric help is required for behavioural changes as well as pharmacological intervention (Kellner et al., 2019).

The appropriate diagnosis must be made before intervention provided as it is important for the recovery to identify what is the cause so that it can be rectified. The agencies that can be of help are basically of two types. One, the patient can check herself into a mental health facility that is called self-check-in where a complete mental health assessment will be done and treatment will be done afterwards. Second, depending on the referral from psychiatrist, there can be a mandatory referral to a mental health facility. On a national level, there are mental health services which provideperson-centred care which is provided by partners in recovery and the national disability insurance scheme (Fernandez et al., 2017).

Gaps in Mental Health Service Delivery

The gaps in the mental health delivery are related to the location of residence and an extent to the cultural background of the person requiring care. In the give case study, it is not mentioned what the background of Julie is or the location of living is, depending on which the gaps can be identified. In Australia, the distribution of mental health services and its scarcities is documented. Inanatlas that was formed for western Sydney, it is seen that the major gaps in the mental health are related to acute, emergency, long-term and daycare facilities. It is seen that there was lack of acute and sub-acute community residential care; there is the absence of services providing acute or non-acute daycare; availability of employment services for people who have lived experience of mental health illness; and there was lack of supported housing (Fernandez et al., 2017).

There is a lack of workforce in mental healthcare as well as services in relation to the geographic distribution. This is more profoundly seen in rural and remote areas in Australia. From a study conducted by Van Spijker et al. (2019), it is seen that there are discrepancies seen between and within regions. This creates inequity in the distribution of mental health services and there is depletion of workforce catering to the mental health problems of people living in such areas. People who belong to indigenous background face discrimination in healthcare and the same is seen in mental health services.

Advocacy for Mental Health Patients

All the mental health disorders are not the same and the related signs and symptoms are also not the same for all the patients. The associated carers both formal and informal need to act as advocates for the people suffering from mental health illness (Jamison et al., 2017). Formal carers are psychiatrists and mental health nurses who act as advocates for the patients in front of the healthcare system, other professionals and even for the family members. The principles of ethics are to be maintained that is autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence (Schneider et al., 2018). It is a general notion that mental health patients cannot make the decision for themselves which is not true until cognition is affected in a patient. Patients know what is best for them as they are undergoing the experience and their family members who are going through the same with them advocate for the patient as they are better position to make the decision for the patient.


The present case is of Julie, who is married and is the mother of two children. She has a history of post-partum depression and now she is showing signs of withdrawal from her duties as a mother. She has spent more than that could be afforded by the family to buy a car which can be seen as a part of psychological illness.Mental health is important for overall health and can affect the social responsibility of a person.Informalsupports can be provided by her husband Ben and can be provided by parents of Julie. The professionals and the agencies that provide support are psychiatrists, general practitioner and national disability insurance scheme and mental health facilities. There can be gaps seen in mental health services in terms of maldistribution of acute and sub-acute services. Lastly, mental health patients often require advocacy which is provided by healthcare professionals and family.


Bauer, A., Knapp, M., & Parsonage, M. (2016). Lifetime costs of perinatal anxiety and depression. Journal of affective disorders, 192, 83-90.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.12.005.

Bloom, P. (2017). Against empathy: The case for rational compassion. Random House.

Fernandez, A., Gillespie, J. A., Smith-Merry, J., Feng, X., Astell-Burt, T., Maas, C., & Salvador-Carulla, L. (2017). Integrated mental health atlas of the Western Sydney Local Health District: Gaps and recommendations. Australian Health Review, 41(1), 38-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH15154.

Jamison, J. M., Fourie, E., Siper, P. M., Trelles, M. P., George-Jones, J., Grice, A. B., ...& Mitchell, L. (2017). Examining the efficacy of a family peer advocate model for black and hispanic caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(5), 1314-1322. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3045-0.

Kellner, A., Townsend, K., Loudoun, R., Dao-Tran, T. H., & Wilkinson, A. (2019).16 balancing formal and informal support for psychological health in emergency services. Critical Perspectives on the Management and Organization of Emergency Services, 232.

Murray, L., Halligan, S., & Cooper, P. (2018). Postnatal depression and young children’s development.Guilford Press.

Nakamura, A., Sutter-Dallay, A. L., El-KhouryLesueur, F., Thierry, X., Gressier, F., Melchior, M., & van der Waerden, J. (2020). Informal and formal social support during pregnancy and joint maternal and paternal postnatal depression: Data from the French representative ELFE

cohort study. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 0020764020911409.https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764020911409.

O'Neill, P., Cycon, A., & Friedman, L. (2019).Seeking social support and postpartum depression: A pilot retrospective study of perceived changes. Midwifery, 71, 56-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2019.01.003.

Schneider, B. J., & Bradley, J. C. (2018).Ethical considerations of the practice of psychiatry in the military. In Military and Veteran Mental Health (pp. 73-93). Springer, New York, NY.https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7438-2_6.

Svalastog, A. L., Donev, D., Kristoffersen, N. J., &Gajović, S. (2017). Concepts and definitions of health and health-related values in the knowledge landscapes of the digital society. Croatian Medical Journal, 58(6), 431.https://doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2017.58.431.

Van Spijker, B. A., Salinas-Perez, J. A., Mendoza, J., Bell, T., Bagheri, N., Furst, M. A., ...& Salvador-Carulla, L. (2019). Service availability and capacity in rural mental health in Australia: Analysing gaps using an Integrated Mental Health Atlas. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 53(10), 1000-1012. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004867419857809.

Watson, J. B. (2017). Behaviorism.Routledge.

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