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Mental Health Illnesses

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Introduction

Mental health problems are a group of disorders that affect a person’s personality, social interactions and ability to coordinate thoughts. The commonly known mental health disorders are; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and Depression. In the United States, mental illnesses are a significant risk to the population. The prevalence of mental disorders in America has been evident, with statics revealing that at least one person in every five people has a form of mental illness (Statista, 2016). This is a significant population that is prone to the mental issues. Factors such as age, gender, self-esteem, substance abuse, conflicts, traumatic events and sexual abuse have been closely related to be risk factors of mental disorders (World Health Organization, 2014).

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Mental Health Advocacy Campaigns and Interventions

Mental health advocacy has been on the lime light to address mental disorders prevalence in the community and the stigma associated to it (SHEKHAR SAXENA, 2006). Scholarly articles on mental health advocacy campaigns have been written by scholars to help find effective ways of suppressing mental disorders in the society. A journal article by Graham Thornicroft et al. provides evidence of effective mental interventions that reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental conditions (Graham Thornicroft, 2016). The article outlines the current measures in place for advocacy campaign for mental disorders. The article’s finding revealed that there are fairly consistent advocacy patterns towards change of attitude positively by the society and the patients. Positive attitude often translates to acceptance hence reduced stress levels. The article highlights that group-level interventions are assistive to mental illness patients. They push towards anti-stigma inventions that are promising and assist in further assessment. Attitudinal improvements are a form of mental health advocacy that targets specific groups through social contact-based interventions.  This advocacy provides short term improvements in life positivity of the patients. The article suggests that over-generalization of mental health patients is disastrous since each mental disorder group has different needs and their mental issue is due to a variety of issues. Over generalization leads to non-attendance to certain risk factors of the patient therefore exposing the patient to more stressful knowledge and situations. Long-term follow up on patients has become essential in gaining sustainability of the mental disorders. The article suggests that long-term interventions, rather than short-term interventions help in progress maintenance. Lastly, the article suggests that behavioral change study would be effective for the control of mental disorder issues. It incorporates the patient’s behavior right from the beginning to identify what causes variations in attitudes and whether the change is positive or negative. This helps in determining the risk factors that the patient has been exposed to and the best ways to help eliminate their condition. This article basically explains the already effective mental health interventions and the improvement areas that need to be addressed to improve the intervention levels. A journal article by Tom Dunne et al. provides review of the strategies that have been used for youth mental health and substance abuse interventions (Tom Dunne, 2017). The article intended to recognize the best practices that aimed at community level improvements through clinical outcomes with proven strategies that inform program developments. The article emphasizes on program development strategies that have been used to minimize the prevalence of mental health illnesses. They are; technological intervention to identify and suppress the illness, patients participation in development program, parental relationships, and social marketing.

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An analysis of both articles reveal that the need for mental health advocacy is important. The effective strategies that have been put in place are related in the sense that they all aim at stigma elimination for the patients through the patients’ being involved in advocacy campaigns and the incorporating community level interventions that will seek to see the community appreciate mental health patients (Lustig, 2012). A change of attitude is crucial in achievement of the effectiveness of this mental health advocacy campaigns.

Proposed Policy

With the current interventions, emphasis has been based on the condition treatment factors of the mental health disorder rather than the protective factors. In my proposition, an advocacy campaign that will protect the public from mental health disorders will be the ideal intervention for mental health issues. My campaign will focus on identification of groups that are prone to mental health disorders and inventing programs that will offer psychiatric guidance to them to reduce the possibility of them becoming victims of the disorder. Pre-condition psychiatric measures have been termed effective for mental health disorders since these disorders are mainly contributed by lack of association and coordination caused by occurrences encountered (Pilgrim, 2007). The main objective of the policy is to ensure the population at risk does not become part of the risk, in this case the risk is the mental health disorder. Through my projections, my advocacy campaign will be able to reduce prevalence of the disorder significantly. The estimated rate of reduction is one person out of ten, as compared to the current rate of one person out of ten people. This is a 10% reduction from the previous 20% rate. Efficient incorporation and control of the interventions will be necessary to achieve desired outcome.

Conclusion

In conclusion, mental health disorder is a condition that cannot be ignored since its prevalence is significant. The population at risk in this case is determined by age, gender, exposure to traumatic events, family relationships, self-esteem issues, sexual abuse and substance abuse. Control measures in place aim at attitude change in the patient in the community. A review of the current mental health advocacy campaigns helped in the identification of a gap that can be filled trough program developments. A pre-condition psychiatric intervention would be most effective since it prevents actual occurrence of the condition.

1. Graham Thornicroft, N. M. (2016, March). Evidence for effective interventions to reduce mental-health-related stigma and discrimination. The Lancet, 387(10023), 1123-1132. Retrieved December 8, 2017

2. Lustig, S. L. (2012). Advocacy Strategies for Health and Mental Health Professionals: From Patients to Policies. Springer Publishing Company.

3. Pilgrim, D. (2007, August). The survival of psychiatric diagnosis. Social Science & Medicine, 65(3), 536-547.

4. SHEKHAR SAXENA, E. J.-L. (2006, February). Prevention of mental and behavioural disorders: implications for policy and practice. World Psychiatry, 5(1), 5-14.

5. Statista. (2016). U.S. Mental Health Issues – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved December 7, 2017, from https://www.statista.com/topics/1298/mental-health-issues/

6. Tom Dunne, L. B. (2017, May). A Review of Effective Youth Engagement Strategies for Mental Health and Substance Use Interventions. Journal of Adolescent Health, 60(5), 487-512.

7. World Health Organization, W. (2014). Social determinants of social health. Retrieved from World Health Organization: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/112828/1/9789241506809_eng.pdf

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