Overview of Issue
The social problem under investigation revolves around how people should maintain good mental health. The promotion of mental health in many countries globally is located within the broader domain of health promotion. It is firmly embedded in interventions that are provided to prevent mental disorders and to treat individuals with mental illnesses and other life-threatening disabilities (Focus on Health, 2014).
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However, it is felt that mental health entails more than the mere treatment of mental illnesses as it encompasses a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being (Pollet, 2007). Research is consistent that many countries globally continue to neglect mental health in spite of the immense social, economic, and institutional burdens it imposes on individuals and whole economies (Focus on Health, 2014). In this light, it is important for relevant stakeholders to prioritise the development and implementation of policies that will encourage people to maintain good mental health.
The potential solution or suggestion provided in this paper is to encourage individuals to take mental health examination regularly. As demonstrated in the literature, most people do not have a complete comprehension of what constitutes good mental health care (Focus on Health, 2014). Indeed, according to this report, they are not aware of what they need to do to ensure they attain the desired physical, mental, and social well-being. As such, it is only fair for the relevant agencies to undertake all-inclusive campaigns to create awareness on the need for individuals to take mental health examination on a regular basis.
It is evident that people who often have trouble in coping with life pressures form an important audience group for mental health services and interventions. Other target audience groups include drug addicts and alcoholics, adolescents, retirees, and people with known physical disabilities. These groups of the population need to be facilitated in broadening their capacity to attain optimal mental health. They also need to be included in supportive and all-inclusive environments that minimise obstacles to optimal mental health (Pollet, 2007).
Barriers to the Issue
Available mental health scholarship has unearthed and documented various barriers that keep people from achieving good mental health. One of the foremost obstacles to the issue revolves around the social stigmatisation of mental illness. In some rural areas with low educational achievement index, mental illness is considered taboo and people shy away from discussing any issues related to their mental health (Pollet, 2007). People are either not aware or just ignore existing psychological counselling interventions, leading to the exacerbation of their mental health. This barrier needs to be reversed by creating awareness of the adverse effects of stigmatising mental illnesses and the benefits of seeking early medical interventions.
Another barrier revolves around the fact that people experiencing mental health or psychological problems fail to recover even after they engage in one-to-one therapy with a professional counsellor or clinical psychologist. Although research in this area is limited, it can be assumed that people fail to make a full recovery because they seek treatment when the mental or psychological problem has already progressed. Consequently, it is important for the concerned agencies and stakeholders to stress the need to ask for early intervention and treatment to increase the chances of making a full recovery.
Furthermore, there is a perceived mistrust of health professionals by some patients who may be suffering from varied mental illnesses. According to Pollet (2007), such doubt discourages people to seek treatment in health institutions and serves to worsen the condition. As such, health professionals are required to develop trusting relationships with their clientele and community members to ensure that people feel free to seek for mental health services in healthcare institutions.
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Lastly, it can be argued that the issue of attainment of optimal mental health is compounded by the lack of specialists. Indeed, most health facilities in rural areas face a deficit of specialists who can be entrusted with the task of leading treatment and other interventions targeted at an increasing number of people with mental illnesses (Pollet, 2007). Consequently, the mental health of these people cannot be guaranteed irrespective of the fact that they may seek help. It should be the role of the government to invest more in the training of counsellors, clinical psychologists, as well as clinical psychiatrists. Such professionals should also be facilitated to perform optimally by providing them with the needed tools and resources.
This paper has provided an overview of mental health and identified significant audiences where behaviours need to be influenced to ensure that members of these audiences achieve and maintain optimal mental health. It is suggested that individuals should be encouraged to take mental health examination regularly, as one of the barriers to effective treatment entails failing to recover completely due to late diagnosis of the mental illnesses. Other obstacles have been discussed as well, including social and cultural stigmatisation, perceived mistrust of healthcare professionals, and lack of specialists. Overall, the tactics or approaches addressed in this paper should be employed to address the barriers and provide the capacity for people to keep or maintain optimal mental health.
Focus on health: Making mental health count. (2014). Web.
Pollet, H. (2007). Mental health promotion: A literature review. Web.