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Community Care and the Mentally Ill - Research Paper Example

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Introduction Providing mental health care for individuals who have severe mental disorders, is one of the critical challenges for the mental health care systems reform over the last decades, for numerous reasons such as perception of the mentally ill patients, weaknesses in the development of an effective system and community and budgetary constraints making it difficult to fund community based services appropriate for mental patients…
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Community Care and the Mentally Ill
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Download file to see previous pages The community care of mentally ill patients faces numerous social and legal weaknesses in terms of developing a system which makes treatment for these individuals effective based on a stringent observance of their human rights and overcoming the challenges associated with a community based model of care. Problems associated with providing healthcare to mental patients Although mental disorders are considered to have a low prevalence, the impact that they have on the families and societies is huge. Research shows that out of the many severe mental disorders the one that is considered most critical is that of schizophrenia. This is mostly because of the great impact that the disorder has on the individuals functioning. Its approximate point of prevalence is about 0.4% and the disease poses a lifetime risk of 1%, that is, at least 1 in a 100 individuals will have schizophrenia at a certain point in their lifetime (Goldner et al., 2002, pp.832). Also it is considered in the top ten diseases in terms of the duration lived with disability, and accounts for about 3% of disability caused by all disease. Furthermore for individuals between the ages of 15 to 44, it is rated as the third most critical disease (WHO, 2008). Another critical problem as far as the challenges of the health system reform go is that of the development of a community which provides the appropriate services for these individuals. This is a complex procedure which faces a number of critical barriers. Some of these exist at a mere policy level, and are most likely to occur due to non-existent appropriate mental health policies and legislation, lack of funds or the existence of procedural discrimination taking place with individuals with mental disorders, in case of the presence of limited health insurance. Some other noticeable barriers that are present on the level of the health system comprise of: difficulties in the provision of funding to community-based services for mental patients; an inability to integrate the mental health services with those of the general health system; not integrating mental health with the basic social care systems, especially the existence of weak coordinating efforts with welfare, housing and employment services go; and lastly a lack of appropriate training to stall circulating in the system to provide healthcare to mental patients (WHO, 2001). Over the decades efforts have been made to overcome these barriers and formulate a community based framework that ensures higher standards of health care for individuals who have severe mental disorders. These improvements include better living conditions in psychiatric hospitals, developing superior community services, integrating mental health care with primary care, improving psychosocial care which comprises of housing and extensively trained staff, efforts to enforce protection of human rights of individuals with mental disorders and encouraging families of these individuals to participate in order to improve policies and services (Muijen, 2008, pp. 481). Extensive research has served to be a valuable base in order to develop and provide guidance for the appropriate investment into the mental health care systems. Human Rights and Mental Health Care As far as effectively delivering care to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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