Prevention of mental illness policy essay

Statistics Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, means thinking about or planning suicide. Thoughts can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration. It does not include the final act of suicide.

Prevention of mental illness policy essay


If only we knew what was going on. If only we had recognized the signs. If only we had access to treatment. Unfortunately, the conversation tends to be short and after tragedy has already struck — suicides, homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration.

Fortunately, we know how to act early. Studies around the country prove over and over again that we are able to prevent or mitigate the effects of mental illness and allow individuals to live fulfilling, productive lives in the community.

From the influence of genetics and prenatal health all the way into early adulthood, we are learning more about the critical points in brain development and life experiences that increase the risk for or provide protection against the development of mental health disorders. Studies show that half of those who will develop mental health disorders show symptoms by age Despite this knowledge, we continue to fail our children by ignoring Prevention of mental illness policy essay until they reach crisis levels.

Instead of investing in prevention and early intervention programs and providing access to appropriate services, we have unconscionable rates of suicide, school drop-out, homelessness, and involvement in the juvenile justice system. The information below presents a timeline of important factors we know are harmful to mental health throughout the early lifespan, and highlights several programs and policies that address risk factors and increase protective factors in order to promote the prevention and early intervention of mental illness.

Harmful or Helpful Risks and protective factors are often used as a framework for addressing issues that impact prevention and early intervention of mental illness.

Risk factors are harmful and impede recovery, while protective factors are helpful and support recovery. We have chosen to address harmful or helpful factors in four categories. While there is some overlap among the categories and no exact formula for how much a specific factor will affect an individual, these four categories provide a good framework for exploring the different ways we can support people in reaching their recovery goals.

Health Does my brain and body have the ability to do the things I need? Health related issues that influence mental health also include toxic exposure, nutrition, and sleep, among others.

Safety or Security Are there environmental or interpersonal factors that affect my ability to attend to or pay attention to the things I need? Trauma like abuse, neglect, experiencing sexual or physical violence, or exposure to violence interferes with our ability to pay attention to what we need.

In this way, many children who experience trauma become like child soldiers, paying close attention to any factor that might bring imminent harm.

Suicidal ideation: Symptoms, causes, prevention, and resources

This change in attention makes it difficult for children when they try to focus on or respond to daily demands such as school or other everyday activities.

Harmful or helpful factors in this category refer to external influences that impact how a person can lend appropriate and required attention to the things they need and want to do.

Resources Do I have the tangibles or services available to meet my needs? This includes access to resources like adequate housing, nutritious food, finances, and education, as well as mental health services, like school based supports and mental health treatment.

As Abraham Maslow understood in his Hierarchy of Needs, physiological needs like air, water, food, and shelter are the most basic requirements for an individual to function and thrive. Relationships Do I have interpersonal supports that help me meet my needs? This includes healthy and appropriate relationships with others, including caregivers, family, friends, or classmates.

This also includes the extent to which the individual feels like a valued member of his or her community.

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While relationships can be a resource and contribute to whether we feel safe or insecure, they are given a separate category because of the special role healthy or unhealthy relationships can have for individuals.

The negative effects of isolation are an all too common experience for individuals with mental illness.

Prevention of mental illness policy essay

Programs and policies that address isolation or family and peer support deserve extra attention. Harmful or helpful factors in this category refer to the support a person needs and receives from those around him or her that impact health and well-being.

In addition to the four categories of harmful risk or helpful protective factors, we divided early lifespan into three distinct periods where specific social, emotional, and biological changes occur: These periods are critical times where we can take action to support children and young adults before they reach a crisis or when recovery becomes more difficult.

For each stage, we provide research on important risk or protective factors and offer several policy and program options that have been shown to remove harmful factors or increase helpful factors. Genetics and Brain Development While many of the helpful and harmful factors discussed below address environmental factors, it is important to acknowledge the influence of genetics and brain development.

Like many physical health problems, genes and brain development play a role in mental illness, and an individual has an increased likelihood for developing a specific disorder if others in his or her family have been diagnosed with that disorder.

It does imply that there is an increased risk, which, when combined with other harmful factors, increases the possibility that someone will suffer with mental health problems. To further complicate, sometimes random mutation in brain development occurs such that even people born into safe and supportive environments, with access to needed resources, can continue to struggle with mental health problems.Although explicitly not a policy document, the mental health report of the U.S.

surgeon general reviewed the scientific basis of mental health and illness to inform mental health policy. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.

Prevention of Mental Disorders: Effective Interventions and Policy Options, on which this Summary Report is based, offers an overview of international evidence-based programmes and policies for preventing mental and behavioural disorders. Minority Nursing Scholarship. An award of $2, is given to the winner of an yearly essay contest. Applicants must be students of color (African American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander) and enrolled full-time in a graduate level Nursing program by November 1, May 09,  · Promotion & Prevention The terms mental health promotion and prevention have often been confused.

Promotion is defined as intervening to optimize positive mental health by addressing determinants of positive mental health before a specific mental health problem has been identified, with the ultimate goal of improving the positive mental health. Mental Illness Mental illness is a disorder that is characterized by disturbances in a person's thought, emotions, or behavior.

Mental illness refers to a wide variety of disorders, ranging from those that cause mild distress to those that impair a person's ability to function in daily life.

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