The Importance Of Mental Health Care

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In the United States, the lack of capacity to treat those in need of mental health services is staggering; the primary contributing factor being a serious mental health workforce shortage. Often the psychiatric component of a patient’s clinical picture is not addressed at the same level as the medical component; many health care providers persist in making an artificial distinction between mental health and physical health. Those who suffer from mental disorders have high rates of co-morbid conditions and are high utilizers of the health care delivery system. Common barriers to mental health care access include limited availability and affordability of mental health care services, insufficient mental health care policies, lack of education…show more content…
Two priority health concerns for individuals with mental disorders are: (1) early identification of mental health problems, and (2) effective evidence-based treatment for mental health problems. Preventing even the smallest number of mental illness, through early identification, will improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. A Healthy People 2020 initiative addresses the need to provide more screening services for mental disorders; MHMD-11.1 which calls for an increase in the proportion of primary care physicians that screen adults for depression ( ). Study after study shows we should be screening for mental illnesses at the age of onset rather than waiting for them to get progressively worse. Early identification of mental health problems allows individuals early access to appropriate services; bringing the core foundational public health principles of prevention to reduce overall incidences of mental disorders. Embracing a population-based approach to the prevention of mental illness gives us both the remit and the charge to focus our efforts. A…show more content…
First, would be to ensure appropriate and effective services are in place to meet the needs and improve health outcomes particularly in the current economic climate. Second, the public health nurse should participate in data-led advocacy to maintain and strengthen provisions for mental health care in the nation’s health system using published research, talking to government leaders, and using public health agencies to urge elected representatives to protect and expand access to mental health care. Also, gather and provide the data needed by communities to obtain resources for better transportation, more providers, and more access to health care for residents. The public health nurse should encourage communities to break down logistical barriers to care and support education efforts to reduce the stigma of mental illness; change perceptions about mental health treatment and lead the charge to move beyond the mental health stigma to promote health and wellness. Using the power of the public health network for outreach to individuals in schools, workplaces, faith-based groups, and other populations to deliver interventions designed to support positive attitudes to mental health care. Advocate to change attitudes and promote help seeking behaviors related to mental health as a benefit of society as a whole; show individuals that treatment is available, and

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