Mental Health

3.3527272727347 (825)
Posted by pompos 03/26/2009 @ 17:15

Tags : mental health, diseases, health

News headlines
Ballot measures headed for defeat in early returns - San Jose Mercury News
More immediately, the measures would have raised nearly $6 billion by borrowing against future lottery revenues and siphoning money from special funds for children's programs and mental health. But voters — the few who bothered to cast ballots — were...
Advocating For Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health In ... - MPBN News
Consumer groups are on the same page on at least one aspect of the plan - that it has to include coverage for substance abuse and mental health treatment. Last fall Congress passed, and the president signed into law the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and...
Official: Cuts in mental health funding could have 'dire' consequences - Towanda Daily Review
BY JAMES LOEWENSTEIN TOWANDA — Bradford County Human Services Director Bill Blevins said Friday there could be “dire, disastrous” consequences from proposed cuts in state funding for mental health programs. Under Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed state budget...
In our view: Protect military's mental health - Joplin Globe
But, mental-health care is a separate issue and one we'd like to address. Diagnosis and treatment of physical injuries in a war zone tests the limits of medicine in some cases, but is straightforward. A young soldier is shot in the chest....
Mental health court serves public interest - Livingston Daily
Last week, the county court system kicked off its Intensive Treatment Court, designed to provide an alternative to jail for defendants with mental illness. It was developed with the combined efforts of legal and mental health professionals....
APA: Major Changes Loom for Bible of Mental Health - MedPage Today
DSM-V is on track to be published in 2012, capping 13 years of literature reviews, commissioned research, and intensive discussions among more than 160 mental health professionals. "Most of us involved would like a couple more years, but we know that's...
Community Mental Health plan recognition awards - Ithaca Journal
The accomplishments and service of individuals, families, programs and organizations involved with community mental health in Tompkins County will be recognized Wednesday, May 27, by the Tompkins County Community Mental Health Services Board....
May Is Children Mental Health Awareness Month -
There are more than 780000 children and youth under the age of 18 in the State of Mississippi, and nearly one in five could benefit from short-term mental health treatment through a community health center, school-based or nonprofit therapist,...
Stanislaus County reduces mental health services - Modesto Bee
Denny Litos, chief executive officer of Doctors Medical Center, said it appeared the responsibility for providing care for people with mental health and substance abuse issues was falling to health care providers. Supervisors told county staff to meet...
National Mental Health Development Unit -
NMHDU, launched in April 2009, consists of a small central team and a range of programmes funded by both the Department of Health and the NHS to provide national support for implementing mental health policy by advising on national and international...

Mental health


Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as ""a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” It was previously stated that there was no one "official" definition of mental health. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how "mental health" is defined.

The treatment of mental disorders dates back to ancient civilisations, including Ancient Egypt, India, Greece and Rome. Medieval physicians in the Muslim world from the 8th to 15th centuries were concerned with mental health.

In the mid-19th century, William Sweetzer was the first to clearly define the term "mental hygiene". Isaac Ray, one of thirteen founders of the American Psychiatric Association, further defined mental hygiene as an art to preserve the mind against incidents and influences which would inhibit or destroy its energy, quality or development.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Clifford Whittingham Beers founded the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and opened the first outpatient mental health clinic in the United States.

Mental health can be seen as a continuum, where an individual's mental health may have many different possible values. Mental wellness is generally viewed as a positive attribute, such that a person can reach enhanced levels of mental health, even if they do not have any diagnosable mental health condition. This definition of mental health highlights emotional well-being, the capacity to live a full and creative life, and the flexibility to deal with life's inevitable challenges. Many therapeutic systems and self-help books offer methods and philosophies espousing strategies and techniques vaunted as effective for further improving the mental wellness of otherwise healthy people. Positive psychology is increasingly prominent in mental health.

A holistic model of mental health generally includes concepts based upon anthropological, educational, psychological, religious and sociological perspectives, as well as theoretical perspectives from personality, social, clinical, health and developmental psychology.

An example of a wellness model includes one developed by Myers, Sweeny and Witmer. It includes five life tasks — essence or spirituality, work and leisure, friendship, love and self-direction—and twelve sub tasks—sense of worth, sense of control, realistic beliefs, emotional awareness and coping, problem solving and creativity, sense of humor, nutrition, exercise, self care, stress management, gender identity, and cultural identity—are identified as characteristics of healthy functioning and a major component of wellness. The components provide a means of responding to the circumstances of life in a manner that promotes healthy functioning. Most of the US Population is not educated on Mental Health.

Mental health can also be defined as an absence of a major mental health condition though recent evidence stemming from positive psychology (see above) suggests mental health is more than the mere absence of a mental disorder or illness. Therefore the impact of social, cultural, physical and education can all affect someone's mental health.

Mental health can be socially constructed and socially defined; that is, different professions, communities, societies and cultures have very different ways of conceptualizing its nature and causes, determining what is mentally healthy, and deciding what interventions are appropriate. Thus, different professionals will have different cultural and religious backgrounds and experiences, which may impact the methodology applied during treatment.

Many mental health professionals are beginning to, or already understand, the importance of competency in religious diversity and spirituality. The American Psychological Association explicitly states that religion must be respected. Education in spiritual and religious matters is also required by the American Psychiatric Association.

A number of professions have developed specializing in mental disorders, including the medical speciality of psychiatry, divisions of psychology known as clinical psychology, abnormal psychology, positive psychology, applied behavior analysis, behavior therapy, clinical or mental health social work, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychotherapists, counselors and public Health professionals. Different clinical and academic professions tend to favor differing models, explanations and goals.

To the top

Mental health professional

A mental health professional is a person who offers services for the purpose of improving an individual's mental health or to treat mental illness. This broad category includes psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses, mental health counselors as well as many other professionals. These professionals often deal with the same illnesses, disorders, conditions, and issues; however their scope of practice often differs. The most significant difference between mental health professionals are the laws regarding required education and training in the various groupings.

Mental health professionals exist to improve the mental health of individuals, couples, and families. Because mental health covers a wide range of elements, the scope of practice greatly varies between professionals. Some professionals may enhance relationships while others treat specific mental disorders and illness. Often, as with the case of psychiatrists and psychologists, the scope of practice may overlap.

Most qualified mental health professionals will refer a patient or client to another professional if the specific type of treatment needed is outside of their scope of practice. Additionally, many mental health professionals may sometimes work together using a variety of treatment options such as concurrent psychiatric medication and psychotherapy. Additionally, specific mental health professionals may be utilized based upon their cultural and religious background or experience.

Psychiatrists are physicians and one of the few professionals in the mental health industry who specialize and are certified in treating mental illness using the biomedical approach to mental disorders including the use of medications.

Psychiatrists may also go through significant training to conduct psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy; however psychologists and clinical psychologists specialize in the research and clinical application of these techniques. The amount of training a psychiatrist holds in providing these types of therapies varies from program to program and also differs greatly based upon region.

As part of their evaluation of the patient, psychiatrists are one of only a few mental health professionals who may conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests and EEGs, and may order brain imaging studies such as CT or CAT, MRI, and PET scanning. A medical professional must evaluate the patient for any medical problems or diseases that may be the cause of the mental illness.

Historically psychiatrists have been the only mental health professional with the power to prescribe medication to treat specific types of mental illness. However Physician Assistants, psychiatric nurses, and clinical psychologists have gained the ability to prescribe psychiatric medications in a few U.S. states.

Typically the requirements to become a psychiatrist are substantial but differ from country to country.

In the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and most Commonwealth countries, a would-be psychiatrist must first obtain Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees. These degrees are most often abbreviated MB BS: MB ChB, MB BCh, MB BChir (Cambridge), BM BCh (Oxford), BM BS, or plain BM also occur. Following this, the individual in the UK will in future act as a "foundation programme trainee" for two additional years. The foundation programme allows new graduates to experience the different specialties of medicine, as well as learn important attributes and qualities of a doctor. Upon completion, a postgraduate student can apply for training to specialize in psychiatry. Following acceptance, this specialized training will last for about 6 years. After one year of training a written and clinical examination would be taken and after three years or so and experience in a range of subspecialties the Specialist Trainee would pass the examination for Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists: abbreviated as MRCPsych. In the past a few trained in internal medicine (qualifying as MRCP) or, more recently, general practice (MRCGP) before starting psychiatric training. After obtaining a Certificate of Specialist Training, the individual can apply for a consultant post and work independently as a psychiatrist or, more often, as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

In the United States and Canada one must first complete a Bachelor's degree. Students may typically decide any major of their choice, however they must enroll in specific courses, usually outlined in a pre-medical program. One must then apply to and attend 4 years of medical school in order to earn their MD or DO and to complete their medical education. Following this, the individual must practice as a psychiatric resident for another four years. Psychiatry residents are required to complete at least four post-graduate months of internal medicine (pediatrics may be substituted for some or all of the internal medicine months for those planning to specialize in child and adolescent psychiatry) and two months of neurology, usually during the first year. Occasionally, some prospective psychiatry residents will choose to do a transitional year internship in medicine or general surgery, in which case they may complete the two months of neurology later in their residency. After completing their training, psychiatrists take written and then oral board examinations. The total amount of time required to qualify in the field of psychiatry in the United States is typically 4 to 5 years after obtaining the MD or DO.

A clinical psychologist studies and applies psychology for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. In many countries it is a regulated profession that addresses moderate to more severe or chronic psychological problems, including diagnosable mental disorders. Clinical psychology includes a wide range of practices, such as research, psychological assessment, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. Central to clinical psychology is the practice of psychotherapy, which uses a wide range of techniques to change thoughts, feelings, or behaviors in service to enhancing subjective well-being, mental health, and life functioning. Unlike other mental health professionals, psychologists are trained to conduct psychological assessment. Clinical psychologists can work with individuals, couples, children, older adults, families, small groups, and communities.

Clinical psychologists who focus on treating mental health specialize in evaluating patients and providing psychotherapy. There are a wide variety of therapeutic techniques and perspectives that guide practitioners, although most fall into the major categories of Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, Existential-Humanistic, and Systems Therapy (e.g. family or couples therapy).

In addition to therapy, clinical psychologists are also trained to administer and interpret psychological personality tests such as the MMPI and the Rorschach inkblot test, and various standardized tests of intelligence, memory, and neuropsychological functioning. Common areas of specialization include: specific disorders (e.g. trauma or depression), neuropsychological disorders, child and adolescent, family and relationship counseling, health, sport, forensic, organization and business, and school psychology.

Clinical psychologists undergo many hours of postgraduate training—usually 4 to 6 years post-Bachelors—in order to gain demonstrable competence and experience. Today, in the U.S., about half of the licensed psychologists are being trained in the Scientist-Practitioner Model of Clinical Psychology (PhD)—a model that emphasizes both research and clinical practice and is usually housed in universities. The other half are being trained within a Practitioner-Scholar Model of Clinical Psychology (PsyD), which focuses on practice (similar to professional degrees for medicine and law). A third training model called the Clinical Scientist Model emphasizes training in clinical psychology research. Outside of coursework, graduates of both programs generally are required to have had 2 to 3 years of supervised clinical experience, a certain amount of personal psychotherapy, and the completion of a dissertation (PhD programs usually require original quantitative empirical research, whereas the PsyD equivalent of dissertation research often consists of literature review and qualitative research, theoretical scholarship, program evaluation or development, critical literature analysis, or clinical application and analysis).

Counseling generally involves helping people with what might be considered "normal" or "moderate" psychological problems, such as the feelings of anxiety or sadness resulting from major life changes or events. As such, counseling psychologists often help people adjust to or cope with their environment or major events, although many also work with more serious problems as well.

One may practice as a counseling psychologist with a PhD or EdD, and as a counseling psychotherapist with a Masters degree. Compared with clinical psychology, there are fewer counseling psychology graduate programs (which are commonly housed in departments of education), counselors tend to conduct more vocational assessment and less projective or objective assessment, and they are more likely to work in public service or university clinics (rather than hospitals or private practice). Despite these differences, there is considerable overlap between the two fields and distinctions between them continue to fade.

The Certified Mental Health Professional (CMHP) certification is designed to measure an individual’s competency in performing the following job tasks. The job tasks are not presented in any particular order of importance.

School psychologists' primary concern is with the academic, social, and emotional well-being of children within a scholastic environment. Unlike clinical psychologists, they receive much more training in education, child development and behavior, and the psychology of learning, often graduating with a post-Masters Educational Specialist Degree (EdS), EdD or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph D) degree. Besides offering individual and group therapy with children and their families, school psychologists also evaluate school programs, provide cognitive assessment, help design prevention programs (e.g. reducing drops outs), and work with teachers and administrators to help maximize teaching efficacy, both in the classroom and systemically.

Social workers in the area of mental health may assess, treat, develop treatment plans, provide case management and/or rights advocacy to individuals with mental health problems. They can work independently or within clinics/service agencies, usually in collaboration with other health care professionals.

In the US, they are often referred to as clinical social workers; each state specifies the responsibilities and limitations of this profession. State licensing boards and national certification boards require clinical social workers to have a masters or doctoral degree (MSW or DSW/PhD) from a university. The doctorate in social work requires submission of a major original contribution to the field in order to be awarded the degree.

In the UK, Approved Mental Health Professionals, who are usually social workers, have a legal role in the assessment and detention of eligible mentally disordered people under the Mental Health Act (1983).

In general, it is the social model, rather ,or in addition to, the dominant medical model, that is the underlying rationale for mental health social work, including a focus on social causation, labeling, critical theory and social constructivism. Many argue social workers need to work with medical and health colleagues to provide an effective service but they also need to be at the forefront of processes that include and empower services users.

Psychiatric Nurses or Mental Health Nurse Practitioners work with people with a large variety of mental health problems, often at the time of highest distress, and usually within hospital settings. These professionals work in primary care facilities, outpatient mental health clinics, as well as in hospitals and community health centers. MHNPs evaluate and provide care for patients who have anything from psychiatric disorders, medical mental conditions, to substance abuse problems. They are licensed to provide emergency psychiatric services, assess the psychosocial and physical state of their patients, create treatment plans, and continually manage their care. They may also serve as consultants or as educators for families and staff; however, the MHNP has a greater focus on psychiatric diagnosis, including the differential diagnosis of medical disorders with psychiatric symptoms and on medication treatment for psychiatric disorders.

Psychiatric and mental health nurses receive specialist education to work in this area. In some countries it is required that a full general nurse training be completed prior to specializing as a psychiatric nurse. In other countries, such as the U.K., an individual completes a specific nurse training course that determines their area of work. As with other areas of nursing, it is becoming usual for psychiatric nurses to be educated to degree level and beyond.

In order to become a nurse practitioner in the U.S., at least six years of college education must be obtained. After earning the Bachelor's degree (usually in nursing, although there are Masters Entry Level Nursing graduate programs intended for individuals with a Bachelors degree outside of nursing) the test for licensure as a registered nurse (the NCLEX-RN) must be passed. Next, the candidate must complete a state-approved Masters Degree advanced nursing education program which includes at least 600 clinical hours. Several schools are now also offering further education and awarding a DNP( Doctorate of Nurse Practice).

Individuals who choose a Masters Entry Level pathway will spend an extra year at the start of the program taking classes necessary to pass the NCLEX-RN. Some schools will issue a BSN, others will issue a certificate. The student then continues with the normal MSN program.

To the top

Mental health triage

Mental health triage is a clinical function conducted at point of entry to health services which aims to assess and categorize the urgency of mental health related problems. The mental health triage service may be located in the Emergency Department, Community Mental Health Services, Call Centre, or co-located with other specialist mental health services such as the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team. Emergency Services such as police and ambulance may also have a co-located mental health triage service. There is considerable variation in the clinical settings in which mental health triage services may be operating, therefore service delivery models vary, however, the essential function is to determine the nature and severity of the mental health problem, determine which service response would best meet the needs of the patient, and how urgently the response is required. A core function of mental health triage is to conduct risk assessment that aims to determine whether the patient is a risk of harming self or others as a result of their mental state, and to assess other risks related to mental illness As with other triage models, the mental health triage clinician must assign a category of urgency to the case, which is recorded using verbal indicators of risk such as 'extreme risk' through to 'low risk' , or by using numerical (urgency= time-to-treatment) categories 1 (immediate) to 5 (2 hours), as per the 5-point Australasian Triage Scale.

Health Nursing, 14, 243-249.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia