MENTAL HEALTH AND ILLNESS
The understanding pertaining to the various effects and ill consequences of mental health problems and ailments on the patients has been woefully deficient, largely due to the propensity of the people in stigmatizing said patients on a societal basis. The gain of a relevant magnitude of insights regarding the concept of lived experience in mental health and illness is required for the implementation of the most effective treatment strategies in this regard (Bragdon & Lake, 2014). Firstly, the following study aims to provide specific details regarding the aforementioned concepts, with a specific focus on the main aspects and features of the same. Secondly, it explores the main ideas of the National Framework for Recovery-Oriented Mental Health Services. Thirdly, it attempts to determine the main method of ensuring the implementation of Recovery-Oriented practices by the professionals of the mental healthcare sector.
Finally, the given study aims to provide specific examples pertaining to the explanation of the chosen topic by means of analysing the work of Sandy Jeffs, a patient suffering from schizophrenia for the past several years. The examples of her case and work have been referred to and drawn upon through the course of the completion of this study.
The concept of Lived Experience in Mental Health and Illness
The people who can provide the best possible insights regarding the overall effects of mental illnesses and ailments are the ones suffering from them in the first place. The patients of mental ailments face a diverse range of challenges, with their experiences making them appropriate experts in said ailments. The unfortunate consequences of being diagnosed with illnesses pertaining to mental health include being stigmatized by several sections of the society, with the resultant stigmatizing of the patients in question directly translating into a distinct lack of opportunities for them in the various aspects of life (Awram, Hancock & Honey, 2016). As the patients have lived through the experiences of being a mental health patient, they are in the best position for deeming (and judging) the effectiveness of the implemented healthcare intervention methods and providing the suggestions for the improvement of the same. In other words, the patients (including the recovered ones) become experts on understanding the effectiveness of the treatment methods and as such, should be respected (Canady, 2015).
The main aim of including the aforementioned experts in ensuring the betterment of the treatment methods and recovery strategies for mental health ailment patients is the promotion of recovery of said patients in a manner which provides them with ample opportunities and equal treatments in domains such as employment, housing, services related to families and education. Entities like the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales have ensured that an appropriate degree of focus has been accorded to the promotion of the viewpoints of experienced experts, in order to gain their valuable insights for the designing of the programs which can bring forth better results for the mental health patients (Douglass, 2016).
The concept of Recovery in Mental Health and Illness Experiencss
Recovery, from the perspective of an individual undergoing the formidable ill effects of any kind of mental illness, is defined as the regaining of hope regarding life, understanding the main disabilities and abilities from a personal point of view and engagement in a social and active life. Possessing a sense of self, a certain degree of personal autonomy, social identity, personal meaning and purpose in life are also ensured in the aforementioned. The term, in general, is very personal and As such, has different meanings and importance for different individuals in a similar context (Drake & Goldman, 2016). The fulfillment of the same for every patient suffering from any kind of mental illness is the ultimate aim for a healthcare professional involved in the mental healthcare sector. Acknowledging the fact that the patients and clients are experts on the ailments is necessary on the part of the healthcare professionals, as the chances of development of effective recovery procedures are higher (Engdahl, 2015).
The establishment of a proper degree of rapport with the patients is required for the engagement of the trust on the part of the patients and as such, the implemented recovery procedures must be self-directed. The needs and requirements of the patients and sufferers of the mental health ailments have to be the main basis for the direction of the methods employed for caring and service provisions to them (Hurley, 2017). The implemented care strategies and tactics also have to be process-oriented and constitutive of an appropriate degree of collaboration with others as well. In addition to the aforementioned, the simultaneous implementation of a clinical mindset is needed for the gain of a satisfactory degree of recovery within the conditions of the patients (Price-Robertson, Obradovic & Morgan, 2016). Finally, the determination of whether the state of recovery has been achieved by the patients has to be a cooperative effort on the part of the healthcare professionals and the patients, with total recovery preferably only being declared when the patients have been deemed to be free from the damaging symptoms associated with the mental illnesses in question. However, true recovery is ensured only when the crippling effects of the ailment on a physical, mental and societal context have been dealt with in a desirable manner (Quigley, 2014).
Main National Framework Recovery-Oriented Mental Health Services Ideas
The National Framework for the initiation of Recovery-Oriented Mental Health Services has been composed for the sake of initiating better treatment for the mental ailments patients. The ideas depicted within the aforementioned have decreed that the used treatment methods have to be evidence-informed, with the appropriate initiation of therapies, rehabilitation and psychosocial support methods being necessary for the achievement of the best possible outcomes in this regard (Samuels, 2015). The completion of the main features and aspects of the aforementioned have been noted to be essential for the gain of the most desirable results in the context of the mental health, well-being and physical health of the people (such as the patients) in particular. Another point which has been highlighted in the Framework in question is the fact that the delivery of the healthcare services has to be centered on the aspirations and requirements of the patients, with the latter being the fundamental basis of the main priorities of services (Speer, 2017).
A certain degree of acknowledgement pertaining to the possibility and negative effects of unresolved trauma lasting from the experiences procured during the times of being a patient of a mental ailment has been ensured within the National Framework as well. A recovery-oriented mental health service has to act within its budgetary and legislative limitations while ensuring the development of recovery procedures in accordance with the experiences of the people with lived experiences in mental health ailments and issues (Talbott, 2013). The health services also have to ensure a proper degree of support for the patients in taking a proper responsibility for reclaiming an active role in society (as well as life in general) and embrace their overall strengths and resiliency for coping with any kind of stressful mental issues and situations. Furthermore, the aspects of supporting local communities for accepting people suffering from mental health ailments, embracing them and providing them with equal opportunities in fields such as employment and education have been among the main points and ideas highlighted in the National framework as well (The Mental Health Foundation, 2014).
Finally, the recognition of the possibilities of an individual suffering from the residual effects of unresolved traumas (on account of any kind of distress stemming from mental illnesses) has been pointed out as well, with the mitigation of the same being one of the premier goals of the mental healthcare service providers (Winship, 2016).
Implementation of Recovery-Oriented Practice by Mental Health Professionals: Examples from Sandy Jeffs’ work
Sandy Jeffs is one of the most inspirational examples of people who managed to make the most out of their lives even while suffering from the effects of mental ailments. The main points which can be gleaned from Jeffs’ talks include the fact that the mitigation of the stigma that mental disease patients suffer from on an almost daily basis has to be ensured, for the presence of the strategies pertaining to the same can help in increasing the available opportunities for such people in the long run. Jeffs has been suffering from schizophrenia for the last several years. Rather than despair at the crushing fear of the disease degrading her mental capabilities further, she strived to turn that fear into creative activities. Indeed, her creativity and strive for further acknowledgement has been amply demonstrated by her poems and literary works (Sandy Jeffs, 2018).
A good example of the creativity aspect of Jeffs is her poem where she used the names of medications as lyrics for her poem (the poem ‘Medicated’), with another example being one where she recounted the names that mental patients are branded within a satirical manner. Her activities are a proper demonstration of the fact that recovery for mental patients can be accelerated provided they collaborate with their caretakers, with further involvement in societal activities mitigating the problems such as stigmatizing, stereotyping and avoidance of the patients in general to an appreciable degree (Poetry recital from Sandy Jeffs "Medicated", 2018). Furthermore, the treatment methods have to be in accordance with the patients’ needs for achieving success.
In conclusion, the determination of the various aspects of mental health care and the negative consequences of the ailments in question is necessary for the initiation of the most effective treatment methods. While the achievement of total recovery is a challenging task, it can be ensured through the effective use of the insights provided by people with lived experiences in said ailments and mental conditions. The acknowledgement of the needs and requirements of the patients have to constitute the main template for the development of the treatment strategies. The example of Sandy Jeffs has provided valuable information and inspiration for understanding the main aspects of the negative effects of mental illnesses on people and the methods needed to mitigate the same to an appreciable extent.
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