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Quality of Health Care for the Mentally Ill - Essay Example

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This work called "Quality of Health Care for the Mentally Ill" describes the challenges facing the provision of mental health care and gives appropriate recommendations based on its findings. From this work, it is clear about the perspective of the system, practitioners, and patients combined…
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Quality of Health Care for the Mentally Ill
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Download file to see previous pages Roberts, Cruz, and Puamau define mental health as that “state of successful performance of a mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and to cope with adversity” (2007, p.107). In spite of mental health affecting the general body functioning, its significance in human health has been minimally appreciated. To understand the importance of mental health, Reeves et al. (2011) cite World Health Organization findings which indicate that more than any other illness, mental illness causes more disability in developed countries with the most common mental illnesses being mood disorders and anxiety.
Poor quality or lack of proper mental health care exposes the patients to severe mental illnesses and even chronic illnesses including the highly infectious hepatitis and tuberculosis. Hahm and Segal (2005) note that the mentally ill persons who do not access treatment would be 11 times more likely to contract hepatitis as compared to the general population in the US. These associated diseases exacerbate morbidity in mental illness. Therefore, just as other health systems seek to promote the health of humans (Sparer, 2011), mental health systems should also seek to promote quality health care among the mentally ill. In nursing homes setting, the prevalence of people with mental illnesses has been estimated at 50% by Grabowski, Aschbrenner, Rome, and Bartels (2010).
One of the reasons that most mentally ill patients turn to their primary care doctors as noted by Andrews (2011) would be the short supply of psychiatrists with the situation being worse in rural than urban areas. Citing the findings of a research study by the Tennessee Psychological Association, the journalist noted that non-emergency cases would have patients wait for between 54 and 90 days before seeing a psychiatrist. A similar challenge has been observed in nursing homes hosting the mentally ill with Grabowski et al. (2010) observing that 80% of residents of such facilities with mental illness fail to be attended to by psychiatrists, psychologists or even licensed social workers due to their shortage and that over two-thirds of those suffering from significant depression end up not receiving treatment. In this setting, psychiatric services would be provided by psychiatric consultants if available, and these do not form part of the full-time staff of such facilities. About 50% of the nursing homes do not provide adequate psychiatric consultation with about 75% being unable to obtain educational and consultation services for problems related to human behavior. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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