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Factors Affecting Mental Health

Question:

Discuss about the Recovery Paradigm and Mental Health for Nursing Professionals.

Mental health usually includes psychological, emotional as well as social well-being of individuals that thereby determine the quality of life he is leading. Individuals who have proper mental health can successfully handle stress, relate themselves with others and thereby make choices that help them to love happily. A number of factors may affect the mental health of individuals that thereby leads them to suffer from poor quality lives. Biological factors like brain chemistry or genes, different types of life experiences like trauma and abuse as well as family history of mental health problems are the risk factors that lead to different mental health diseases (Crowe, Inder & Porter, 2015). They are often seen to be stigmatized by the society for which most of such patients tend to conceal their disorders and do not seek for treatment with the fear of their disorder being revealed to society. Discrimination results them to be socially isolated from the society that in turn makes them stressed (LeBoutillier eta l., 2015). In such a situation, empowering the patients is extremely important to provide them with high quality life and speedy recovery this can be only done by professionals when they include the voice of the patients including their preferences, choices, likes, dislikes and inhibitions. This is believed to abe an effective way for helping mebtaly ill patients to live better quality lives. Therefore, the assignment will mainly show how nursing professionals should treat such patients so that they can overcome their disorders successfully and lead successful social lives by listening to their concerns and problems and providing them respect.

Stigma as well as discrimination is seen to be one of the main reason for which mental health patients do not openly discuss their concerns and issues with members of the society, family members and others. Stigma as well as exclusion affect their self-esteem and disrupt their family relationships. These are mainly seen to affect their ability to socialize as well as het jobs and housing. All these make them depressed and stressed as they feel that they are not respected and cared for by their society. They become hopeless about their existence and try to withdraw themselves from the society. Therefore, nurses have a huge responsibility to help the mental health patients overcome such feelings and make them feel included in decision-making and treatment planning (Kidds, Kenny & McKinstery, 2015). Mental health patients need to maintain a number of principles and consider uniqueness of the individual, peer support, advocacy, attitudes and rights, consent, dignity and respect, partnership and communication while developing their treatment plans. Nurses should consider the preferences and inhibitions of the patients and develop strategies accordingly. This would make them feel respected and feel included within the healthcare centers (Hercelyisnki et al., 2014). They would feel that their voices hold significance that will in turn increase their self-esteem and self-respect that will have positive outcome on their mental health.

Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health Patients

Advocacy is one of the important aspect by which nursing professionals could help in developing awareness on the mental health issues that are faced by vulnerable individuals and help their voices reach out to the society who discriminate them. Advocacy thereby help nursing professionals to ensure that their contribution helps in leading improvements in the policy of mental health disorders as well as legislations and services of the departments. With these activities, nursing professionals can bring out modifications in the system by which better quality care is ensured for mental health patients and strategies are taken by communities to make them feel included in the societies (Goulter, Kavanagh & Gardner, 2015). Every mental health nurses should incorporate the concept of advocacy where they should take the responsibility to promote the human rights of the persons with different mental disorders and thereby reduce stigma and discrimination. They should take up various actions that should mainly aim at changing the major structural as well as different types of attitudinal barriers. This helps to achieve different types of positive mental health outcomes in people as they feel that the healthcare professionals are there to make their voice reach out to the society. They feel that they are respected and their voices are given importance. Some of the actions that mental health nurses can include to ensure best outcomes for patients are awareness raising, educating others, circulating proper information, proper training , providing mutual help, counseling, mediating, defending as well as denouncing. These would ensure a safe society for the patients (Gee, McArthy & Banfield, 2015).

Every mental health nurses have to make sure that they get patient consent before they start their investigation as well as treatment. Over the years, many nurses have overlooked the importance of consent and argued that mental health patients often do not remain in a stable state to provide consents and therefore their voices should not be given importance. They believed that their consents should not be considered as they lose their critical thinking power. These arguments had been severely criticized as researchers are of the opinion that every nurse should maintain patient autonomy irrespective of physical or mental disorders. Every patient should be asked for their consent where the nurses should clearly explain to them the risks, benefits as well as alternatives of treatments. They should make their voice count as important factor in deciding care plan as hearing and acting according to their voices are dictated by the ethics of autonomy and dignity. These would make the individuals feel respected and cared for because of which their chances to feel depressed would be reduced. Nurses should also ensure that signatures are provided on the consent form that provides a legal documentation of the consent. This would ensure patient empowerment and hence would have positive impact on the patient’s health (Sherlock and Brownie, 2014).

Patient Empowerment in Mental Health

Healthcare professionals in mental health nursing ensures that effective communication should be promoted while caring for the patients in order to overcome any concerns of issues that the patients are facing. Often making them participate in decision-making procedures and helping them communicate their queries and needs ensure positive outcomes on their healthcare effective ways of making their voices reach to to the healthcare members. They no more feel stigmatized and feel that they are accepted and loved by the organization. These make them feel empowered as well. Therefore, nurses should communicate effectively with compassion and develop therapeutic relationship where the patients can trust the professionals and develop strong bonds with them (Parker et al., 2017).

Recovery oriented framework provides approaches which Australian territories and states can adopt to provide best care to mental health patients where much importance is give to the voice and preferences of the patients. These would mainly contain five important parts. The first one is promoting a culture as well as a language of hope and optimism. The nurses would make sure that they communicate positive expectations to develop hope and optimism in the patients. These would make them feel safe, valued, important and welcome and help them to overcome the barriers for stigmatization and discrimination. The second approach would be to initiate a holistic and person centered approach so that all the risk factors of the patient’s health can be handled properly ("A national framework for recovery-oriented mental health services", 2013). The nursing professionals should also ensure supporting personal recovery as well as organizational commitment and workplace development. The nursing professionals should take proper actions so that they can promote social inclusion as well as the social determinants of health and mental well-being. All the initiatives that should be taken will ensure maximization of the choices, support positive risk-taking and ensure dignity of the risk. They would also ensure medico-legal requirements, duty of care and promoting safety of patients (Bird et al., 2014).

From the above conclusion, it becomes quite clear that mental health patients suffer from poor quality life due to stigmatization and discrimination. Therefore, healthcare professionals should ensure asking for consent; ensure partnership and communication with patients and advocating for them. With the help of recovery paradigm for mental health patients set by Australian government, patients would feel empowered, which would have positive outcomes on their health and treatment.

References: 

A national framework for recovery-oriented mental health services. (2013). Health.gov.au. Retrieved 19 March 2018, from https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/67D17065514CF8E8CA257C1D00017A90/$File/recovgde.pdf

Bird, V., Leamy, M., Tew, J., Le Boutillier, C., Williams, J., & Slade, M. (2014). Fit for purpose? Validation of a conceptual framework for personal recovery with current mental health consumers. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(7), 644-653.

Crowe, M., Inder, M., & Porter, R. (2015). Conducting qualitative research in mental health: Thematic and content analyses. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(7), 616-623.

Gee, A., McGarty, C., & Banfield, M. (2015). What drives systemic mental health advocates? Goals, strategies, and values of Australian consumer and carer advocacy organizations. Sage Open, 5(4), 2158244015615384.

Goulter, N., Kavanagh, D. J., & Gardner, G. (2015). What keeps nurses busy in the mental health setting?. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 22(6), 449-456.

Hercelinskyj, G., Cruickshank, M., Brown, P., & Phillips, B. (2014). Perceptions from the front line: Professional identity in mental health nursing. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 23(1), 24-32.

Kidd, S., Kenny, A., & McKinstry, C. (2015). The meaning of recovery in a regional mental health service: an action research study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(1), 181-192.

Le Boutillier, C., Chevalier, A., Lawrence, V., Leamy, M., Bird, V. J., Macpherson, R., ... & Slade, M. (2015). Staff understanding of recovery-orientated mental health practice: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. Implementation Science, 10(1), 87.

Parker, S., Dark, F., Newman, E., Korman, N., Rasmussen, Z., & Meurk, C. (2017). Reality of working in a community?based, recovery?oriented mental health rehabilitation unit: A pragmatic grounded theory analysis. International journal of mental health nursing, 26(4), 355-365.

Sherlock, A., & Brownie, S. (2014). Patients' recollection and understanding of informed consent: a literature review. ANZ journal of surgery, 84(4), 207-210.

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