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Community care for the mentally ill - Research Paper Example

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The mentally ill are among the most vulnerable groups in society and no efforts and resources should be spared while addressing their proper care and management. There are several reasons for which care and management are crucial for mental illness patients in a community. …
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Community care for the mentally ill
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On effect of mental illnesses is that they kill their victims rather more prematurely compared to with the rest of the population. The main explanation for these premature deaths among the mentally ill is the occurrence of other related health issues and conditions, which the mentally ill fail to report or manage well. In fact, in most cases, these conditions go unnoticed and untreated. It is thus important that homes and communities give the best possible care and management for the mentally ill to meet some, if not all of their needs such as access to healthcare so that further pain and premature deaths due to physical and psychological conditions are prevented (Knoedler & Allness, 2003). Core in a patient-centered care for the mentally in communities such as the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a team/community-based care, which seeks to help the mentally ill achieve their self-sufficiency goals. Person-centered care management for the mentally ill has been described as among the best policy options for protecting and improving the health and well being of vulnerable populations and reducing the cost of healthcare for these people. This report explores the Assertive Community Treatment model for caring for the mentally ill. Generally, care management for the mentally ill should involve the coordination of health and social services to counter the unnecessary use and waste of services and resources on fragmented and ineffective interventions. On the contrary, such a care should seek to prevent avoidable conditions and promote not only self-care but also independence among mental illness patients. There are various models in which mental illness care management manifests in communities including utilization management, personalized nurse counseling, case management, pharmacy review, and depression management programs (Witheridge, 1991). The emphasis that care management professionals lay on mental illness care augers well with the current healthcare systems’ movement towards recovery-, independence-, and resilience-oriented policies. Regardless of the model of community-based care applied to a given patient or community, there are several core functions that such a model should perform (Witheridge, 1991). These functions include but are not restricted to educating and enlightening patients, their families, and caretakers, building and ensuring a rapport with patients and other stakeholders, and communicating diagnosis and evaluation findings to patients, families, and healthcare providers. The other functions of community-based healthcare models for the mentally ill include the development and maintenance of self-care action plan and the minimization of adherence to strict plans when care- or treatment-emergent problems occur to allow for the application of the best alternative (Witheridge, 1991). Principles, Features, and Strengths of ACT Past and recent researches and literatures have extensively tackled the Assertive Community Treatment model for mental illness patients with regards to its principles and effectiveness in offering care and management to the affected. The model has been reported to be particularly useful for patients whose mental conditions have rendered them physically and psychologically dysfunctional, weak, or ineffective. Among the aspects of victims’ lives rendered functionless by some mental conditions ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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