The adoption of psychotherapy by psychiatric nurses when dealing with individuals with mental cases has been and always going to be effective only when the nurses has both compassion and respect for the individuals that seek help. Mental health, a term that refers to the state of a person which is dependent on their psychological and emotional status, has been evolving. For instance, there exists a difference in the manner in which mentally ill people were viewed in the past and in current times, the level of public health, mental awareness has also changed for the better when compared to the past years, but still, the mental stigma they face is real. Mental illness refers to the health conditions that is characterized by changing the manner that a person thinks, behaves, and the general emotional state of an individual. The health conditions are such as depression, eating disorders, and abnormal anxiety, Mental health literacy is a significant determinant of mental health and has the potential to improve both individual and population health, evidence shows that improved knowledge about mental health and mental disorders, better awareness of how to seek help and treatment, and reduced stigma against mental illness at individual, community and institutional levels may promote early identification of mental disorders, improve mental health outcomes and increase the use of health services (Wei, McGrath, Hayden & Kutcher, 2015).
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While researching for this essay, I got curious on the current status of mental health issues in the world, the previous mental health condition we or they are facing, and as a nurse, what are my role on mental health and how can I advocate? It’s funny because I remember doing an essay for our speech class about mental health stigma and that I mentioned that this is a special topic for me because I have a loved one that has a developmental disorder, although mental illness and developmental disorder might sound differently they’re still both special and needed to handle with special care.
We already know that the treatment is inaccessible to a large section of the world’s population. Whereas there is the availability of mental health treatments, more than two-thirds of individuals who are mentally will never seek help or medication, let alone admit that they needed help. Financial barriers play a significant role in limiting mentally-ill individuals from seeking treatment. Given that a majority of the people who are at risk of becoming mentally ill are those who hail from poor backgrounds, meeting the mental illness treatments, which usually are costly becomes a problem to the patients. Besides the cost challenge, inadequate mental health education has made many mentally ill people not to be treated. Unlike other diseases such as malaria, which possess easily identifiable symptoms, mental illness does not, an issue that makes many people fail to know when they are mentally ill, thus not looking for treatment in psychiatric care clinics (Wasserman, Postuvan, Herta, Iosue, Värnik & Carli, 2018).
Governments across the world are adopting measures that aim at ensuring mental health cases are effectively handled. The currently embraced mental health policies aimed at increasing mental health awareness in the respective countries, reduction of the mental health cases, rehabilitation of mentally ill individuals and the lessening of the stigmatization levels that mentally sick patients are accorded. The Governments have shown commitment to ensuring that their desires with regards to mental health are achieved by allocating large portions of finances to the same when they are computing their annual budgets.
There has been a reduction in the stigmatization levels of mentally ill individuals. Unlike in the past, where people possessed baseless explanations of mental disorders, there has been a tremendous paradigm shift on the topic. In the current times, it is in the public domain that any person can become mentally ill, hence it was not the fault of individuals who are suffering from the mental disorders, and the possibility of them fully recuperating in the future being overwhelming. Mental health awareness, spearheaded by both governments in different countries and private entities such as non-governmental organizations is the main reason behind the drop of the mental health-related stigma (Straiton, Aambø & Johansen, 2019).
In the past, people with mental disorders were subjected to high-level stigmatization. There existed a lot of myths and misconceptions with regards to the people who were mentally ill. For example, a large number of the globe’s population believed that mental cases were only meant for cursed people. People would not fathom how a curse-free person would be a victim of mental disorders. The curses were believed to be either personal ones or those that had family attachments. Personal curses referred to those whereby the persons with mental disorders had a hand in their existence, for instance, engaging oneself in a murder activity while family attached curses were those where a member of the mentally ill’s generation had participated in the commitment of an atrocity. With the linking of mental health cases to the highly feared curses, people avoided interacting with the mentally ill individuals at all costs.
The methods of treatment for the mentally ill persons were cruel ones. The most common type of treatment that was accorded to mentally ill individuals in the past was an exorcism. During the medieval period, people believed that demonic possession was the main reason behind the occurrence of mental illness. Exorcism, a demon releasing technique was mainly carried out by priests or any person who played a religious role. The exorcism exercise was composed of a religious person saying healing prayers to the mentally sick person and the drinking of traditional medicines that were believed to own healing powers. Further, the trephining healing technique was used to treat people with mental cases in the past. In this method, a hole was made on the sick person’s skin with the hopes that the gap would act as an exit for the demonic spirits that were responsible for the mental illness occurrence (Frasquilho, Matos, Salonna, Guerreiro, Storti, Gaspar & Caldas-de-Almeida, 2016).
Though in a slower mode and the few challenges that still exist, the mental health field has seen tremendous positive changes over the years. For example, how mental illness patients are treated has changed for the best in recent times. Whereas crude treatment techniques were used in the past, the current day treatment methods are scientific. Unlike in the ancient times where mentally ill persons would either not get well or die after being subjected to exorcism and trephining healing procedures, the current day psychotherapy methods have proven to be effective with a maximum success rate.
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Furthermore, the mentally ill person’s acceptance trend in society is a motivating one. With the continued mental health awareness programs that are being conducted in all countries within the world, healthy people are changing the negative views they held previously on people who happen to be mentally disturbed. Stigmatization incidences have drastically declined with the change positive trend on the recognition of mentally ill people as normal individuals within the society.
In spite of the significant development that has been experienced within the mental health area, the field is still facing some challenges. It is ridiculous to note that even in this 21st century, there are some people in this world who are still not aware of what mental health is. Also, the cost of accessing mental health medication is still high, limiting other mentally ill people from accessing medication (Straiton et al., 2019). Moreover, a majority of the countries are spending a lot of energy and resources in averting the menace instead of identifying means with which they can curb mental illness causes such as depression.
Nurses should take part in the process of making people aware of the mental health issue. That some people do not know of the existence of anything related to mental health, nurses should take it upon themselves to ensure that several people around the world are conscious of the same. In addition, nurses should also introduce a periodically free, mental illness treatment. Commencement of a program whereby nurses conduct free, mental checking and treatment open days will be helpful as it will ensure that every individual who happens to be mentally ill gets access to treatment, without being judged, nurses needs to educate themselves on how to handle special people with special cases, but also do it in safe and effective manner for both the nurses and the patients.
My essay has an extensive manner discerned the current mental health status in the world, the previous state of mental health, an assessment, and a recommendation on the issue, there has been a drop in the stigma that mentally ill patients are currently going through from the one that they faced in the past, Mental health stigma is deeply entrenched as negative attitudes in the society making the efforts of treatment to require a multifaceted approach; understanding mental health conditions and stigma that come with it. Without the understanding of both, individuals with mental health illness will continue to endure twofold problems emanating from their health condition and the attitudes of the society towards their problem, the progress being made on the mental health issue is on the positive side now, regardless of the hitches that still exist, recommending the nurses to consider introducing mental health open days during which mentally ill people will be treated for free. Finally, it is essential to note that every individual has got a role to play if mental health cases are to drop. Individuals should learn to seek guidance, families or friends need to be on top of if they notice something is wrong.
- Frasquilho, D., Matos, M. G., Salonna, F., Guerreiro, D., Storti, C. C., Gaspar, T., & Caldas-de-Almeida, J. M. (2016). Mental health outcomes in times of economic recession: a systematic literature review. BMC public health, 16, 115. doi:10.1186/s12889-016-2720-y
- Straiton, M. L., Aambø, A. K., & Johansen, R. (2019). Perceived discrimination, health, and mental health among immigrants in Norway: the role of moderating factors. BMC public health, 19(1), 325. doi:10.1186/s12889-019-6649-9
- Wasserman, C., Postuvan, V., Herta, D., Iosue, M., Värnik, P., & Carli, V. (2018). Interactions between youth and mental health professionals: The Youth Aware of Mental health (YAM) program experience. PloS one, 13(2), e0191843. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0191843
- Wei, Y., McGrath, P. J., Hayden, J., & Kutcher, S. (2015). Mental health literacy measures evaluating knowledge, attitudes, and help-seeking: a scoping review. BMC Psychiatry, 15, 291. doi:10.1186/s12888-015-0681-9
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