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Mental Health: Self and Others

Q1. World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental health is the state of well-being in which individuals understand their ability, the capacity to adapt with the usual pressures of life, flexibility and job efficiency, and the abilities to create an effective contribution to civic society (World Health Organization, 2019). Because of the complicated nature of psychological disorders, successful care also involves continuous access to mental health professionals. Regrettably, mental care services, particularly in developing countries, are not often accessible or underused. Common barriers to reach mental health care include insufficient accessibility and affordability of mental health support, ineffective mental health care policies, lack of mental health awareness, and discrimination (Memon et al., 2016). Patients worldwide face some kind of mental health crisis every day. Yet rather than going to the doctor as they would with a sprained ankle or pain in the chest, these patients face significant obstacles to medical access that hold them out from the mental healthcare environment.

Barriers to access to mental health services are also cultural, as patients feel the burden of social stigma and avoid seeing practitioners in mental health care. Mental illnesses are subject to harsh judgments and stigmatization much more than any other form of illness. Most patients have to not only deal with the sometimes-debilitating consequences of their disease, but often suffer from social stigma and discrimination. Thirty-one per cent of those surveyed in a study stated that wanted to seek mental healthcare and were concerned about what others might say about them. Twenty-one per cent said that they ended up seeking mental health services but claimed that they had attended a clinic for mental wellbeing (Kirk, 2017). Yet social stigma does more than just drive certain people far from the mental health clinic. It also impedes the public understanding of mental health and makes it tough to learn about and navigate the healthcare industry. Stigmatizing mental illness is still a huge societal problem. The general public is generally unaware of this problem, and suspicion of the mentally ill remains widespread. While the people no more put patients in jail, torture, or destroy the mentally disabled as in the Middle Ages or Nazi Germany, but still our societal norms and behaviors remain insufficient of democratic social programs for such patients (Gellately & Stoltzfus, 2018).

The enabler is the decentralization and incorporation of mental health into general health care and community-based programs. The robust strategies can be used to increase access to mental health care at national and state levels. Subsequently, many psychiatric units can be developed in community hospitals. Also, there can be more community psychiatric nursing and mental health services at state and regional health levels (Badu, O'Brien & Mitchell, 2018). Furthermore, there are many programs by Non-governmental organizations and other organizations to strengthen community identification and treatment of mental illness. Effective identification of symptoms and the development of treatment networks could help incorporate individuals into society. Several studies have shown that there are current referral mechanisms that could promote the provision of mental health care. At least once a month, they will refer these patients with mental illnesses to an upper level of treatment, such as the community hospital rehabilitation units or the treatment centers.

Q2. Social isolation, unemployment, poor health, and poverty all contribute to mental illness. And, in a time of illness, guilt and oppression will manipulate people. Media heightens the situation. News reports frequently connect mental illness to violent acts, or depict patient issues as dangerous, abusive, unethical, or highly vulnerable and therefore unable to lead regular, healthy lives. The people with mental health issues are amongst the least likely of every group with such a long-term health condition or disability. Such people face challenges when finding employment or when they are in a secure, long-term relationship (Ellis, Every-Palmer & Einstein, 2017). Most of the time they are not included socially in the popular society as in general, society has stigmatized perceptions of mental health, and how it impacts society. Most people believe that individuals with mental disorders are aggressive and abusive but the fact is that they are more at risk of harming or attacking themselves rather than hurting others. Social pressure and discrimination may also exacerbate the mental health problems of others, discourage or prevent them from care and recovery (Fritz et al., 2018). The best way to counter these stereotypes is through first-hand contact with individuals who are experiencing mental health problems. Many national and regional interventions are aimed at changing societal attitudes of mental illness.

A research was performed in which participants were also requested to agree or disagree with a series of attitude claims on mental disorder. Such comments addressed a wide variety of topics, including discrimination, the risk of being mentally ill, and the prospect of treating people with mental illness with treatment and medical care (Rose, 2018). Given the obvious disparity in the information that many of us have about mental illness, the report found that people have had disturbing beliefs about mental illness and mentally ill individuals. In our society, the majority of people believe that keeping a regular community life can help an individual with mental illness get well sooner. People also believe that individuals with serious mental illness will get well and return to successful lives if the society treats them with empathy (Furnham & Sjokvist, 2017). Nevertheless, some of people in our society agree with the need to keep mental health services out of communities or believe mental illness will never be cured. A segment of people in our society feels that the only way to deal with the mentally ill is to hold patients within closed gates (Carroll, 2018).

Q3. The role of a nurse is to provide holistic treatment, and this can include discussing the emotional state of a patient. It is a nurse duty to care for mentally ill patients and to help them get psychological distress treatment. The practice of mental health nursing includes: health promotion and well-being; treatment of health issues and control of adverse outcomes; early detection; recovery-focused disease treatment as identified by the patients and the health restoration; recovery and management of chronic conditions during patient stages of life and is unique to every level. Nursing care is needed to enhance the identification of mental illnesses in healthcare services, to improve referral to more specialist health care services, and to increase the introduction of complementary therapies. A student nurse can help in the idea of activism for mental wellbeing and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination by encouraging the human rights of mentally disordered people. The advocacy for mental wellbeing involves several specific interventions that seek to shift the main systemic and attitudinal obstacles to achieve better mental health outcomes in communities. We are also feared due to various common misinformation and confusion regarding people with mental illnesses, and face extreme stigma and prejudice.

References for Destigmatizing Mental Illness

Badu, E., O'Brien, A. P., & Mitchell, R. (2018). An integrative review of potential enablers and barriers to accessing mental health services in Ghana. Health Research Policy and Systems16(1), 110. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-018-0382-1

Carroll, S. M. (2018). Destigmatizing mental illness: An innovative evidence-based undergraduate curriculum. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services56(5), 50-55.

Ellis, P., Every-Palmer, S., & Einstein, A. (2017). What causes mental illness?. Foundations of Clinical Psychiatry Fourth Edition.

Fritz, J., de Graaff, A. M., Caisley, H., Van Harmelen, A. L., & Wilkinson, P. O. (2018). A systematic review of amenable resilience factors that moderate and/or mediate the relationship between childhood adversity and mental health in young people. Frontiers in Psychiatry9, 230.

Furnham, A., & Sjokvist, P. (2017). Empathy and mental health literacy. HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice1(2), e31-e40.

Gellately, R., & Stoltzfus, N. (Eds.). (2018). Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany. Princeton University Press.

Kirk, S. A. (2017). Mad science: Psychiatric coercion, diagnosis, and drugs. Routledge.

Memon, A., Taylor, K., Mohebati, L. M., Sundin, J., Cooper, M., Scanlon, T., & de Visser, R. (2016). Perceived barriers to accessing mental health services among black and minority ethnic (BME) communities: A qualitative study in Southeast England. BMJ Open6(11).

Rose, N. (2018). Our psychiatric future. John Wiley & Sons.

World Health Organization. (2019). Civil society organizations to promote human rights in mental health and related areas: WHO Quality Rights Guidance Module.

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