Barriers to Effective Mental Health Care
It is the right of every human being on earth to have access to highest attainable level of health care (Andrade et al., 2014). The World Health Organization provides as state of not only physical well being but also of mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing. The nurse plays a huge role in ensuring that the best possible care is offered to their patients. Although this is the case, there are many barriers that hinder effective treatment. This paper will focus on the barriers that exist in mental health care.
The first barrier is stigma and discrimination. Many people with mental health problems are devalued and treated as if they were less human. The stigma and discrimination make most of these patients shy away from visiting healthcare institutions or taking their medication (Corrigan, Druss and Perlick, 2014). It is sad that about two thirds of people living with mental disorders are not on treatment. Stigma towards such people is widespread phenomenon in most countries in the world. The second barrier is that of finance. Most patients with mental disorders find it hard to cater for the cost of treatment. Extensive evidence has revealed that about 60-70 percent of people living with mental conditions do not have the ability to cater for the cost of treatment (Hamilton, Coleman and Davis, 2017). Poor economic status is therefore a great barrier to effective mental health treatment.
The third barrier to effective mental health care is substance abuse. A significant proportion people with mental disorders result to drug and substance abuse (Price et al., 2014). Discrimination and stigma may contribute to making the patients abuse drugs. Other psychological problems may also contribute. Abusing substance and alcohol abuse increases the chances for a patient to commit suicide. Drug abuse is therefore a significant barrier to mental health care. the fourth barrier is the failure of the primary health care providers to detect suicidal tendencies among the mentally ill patients. The fifth barrier that will be discussed is under treatment. Extensive evidence reveals that a significant number of the patients are undertreated. For instance, some receive inadequate doses of antidepressants. The result is ineffective treatment and failure to control the mental condition.
There are several measures that can be employed to minimise or eradicate these barriers. The government as the primary health care provider should hold health promotions aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination of the mentally ill patients. This has the potential of reducing the discrimination and stigma. To address the issue of financial constraints, the government and other well-wishers could greatly subsidize mental health care to make it very affordable. The other measure that could be employed is ensuring that the primary care providers are trained on ways of identifying and intervening appropriately for patients with suicidal tendencies. Appropriate counselling should be done to those abusing drugs and other substances to help them cease the addictive habit. Clinicians should be trained well to ensure that they are aware of the right treatment for mental health conditions to avoid undertreatment.
Andrade, L. H., Alonso, J., Mneimneh, Z., Wells, J. E., Al-Hamzawi, A., Borges, G. & Florescu, S. (2014). Barriers to mental health treatment: results from the WHO World Mental Health surveys. Routledge.
Corrigan, P. W., Druss, B. G., & Perlick, D. A. (2014). The impact of mental illness stigma on seeking and participating in mental health care. Routledge.
Hamilton, J. A., Coleman, J. A., & Davis, W. J. (2017). Leadership Perspectives of Stigma-Related Barriers to Mental Health Care in the Military. Routledge.
Price, M., Yuen, E. K., Goetter, E. M., Herbert, J. D., Forman, E. M., Acierno, R., & Ruggiero, K. J. (2014). mHealth: a mechanism to deliver more accessible, more effective mental health care. Sage Publications.