Mental health and illness

Last Updated: 31 Mar 2020
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The nature of `mental health` and `mental illness` has been described as `contested`. Who are the contestants and what is the contest about?
The Mental Illness has always been considered as a contested issue, because this is the only suffering of unfortunate human beings, which is being highly misunderstood. There are different types of mental illnesses that are suffered by human beings, and in each mental illness there are number of complexities involved like social problems, defect in any part of the brain etc.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and sociologists, who so ever are dealing with the issue of Mental illness are contestants to this issue and advocates their own perceptions like Psychiatrists consider mental illness as a physical state of debilitation and look at it from the social angle, whereas doctors dictates it as a faulty or malfunctioning parts of the brain, such as infections, genetic defects and chemical imbalances within the individual, and neglects the wider social picture which is an ingredient part of illness.

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How well does the idea of labeling explain what happens to someone who is diagnosed as mentally ill?

When a person is diagnosed mentally ill, he or she is labeled., a doctor or practitioner can understand the intensity of his problem and can prescribe the best treatment for him. Thus labeling can be a boon in disguise. Naturally if doctor labeled a person as “mentally disable”, that means he is considering the symptoms that a person is showing which is typical of mental disorder and can delve upon the problem and chart out the solutions.

Critically review the evidence that there is an association between mental health and socio-economic inequality.

No doubt there is a deep association between Mental Health and socio economic inequality. Socio economic inequalities lead to high psychiatric morbidity, disability, depression, Schizophrenia.  Studies by the World Psychologist, 2005 October; 4(3): 181–185 on 10,108 adults aged 16-65 resident in private households in the UK reveal that people who had no access to a car had an odds ratio for neurotic disorder of 1.4 (95% CI 1.1-1.7), compared with those who had access to two or more cars. People who rented their homes were also at increased risk of depression (1.3 [1.1-1.5]). These Income inequalities in the western market economies last 20 years had adverse consequences on the mental health of the people. Basically, the inferiority complex is a basic root and cause of this severe problem.

Discuss how a family might affect and be affected by one of its members having a psychiatric diagnosis mental illness.

Families of the patients suffering from severe psychotic symptoms often suffer from heavy emotional and social strains.  Many households may accept the patients, but the social rejections that are followed can cause serious consequences on the whole family. They can lead to strains of mental illness on a marriage life may also be very devastating. The divource rate is high among people who have depression or bipolar disorder.

How might consultation be used to improve the sensitivity of mental health services to different needs?

Consultation is a very important means of service delivery for mentally ill child and adolescents.  Consultation can be provided in number of ways: group or individual; fixed session or on demand; clinical-based or area office-based. For psychiatrists, the consultancy service is a very valuable experience. Trainees develop an awareness of the difficulties facing social work staff in difficult cases. The social work team also gains considerable benefit from an informal consultation service, which can improve their skills in further understanding the patient problems.  Through consultation, social workers can go into the depth of the causes of the problems of mentally ill within the family setting.

Many people who have mental health problems are socially isolate. What can be done to provide them with informal support and friendship if they want this?

The stigma that is attached to the mentally ill patients leads them to be isolated from the Society. Lot can be done for mentally ill patients. They can be, as suggested by World Health Organization (WHO),

   Openly discussing about the problem of mental illness in the community.

   Providing accurate information on the causes, prevalence, course and effects of mental illness

  Countering the negative stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding mental illness;

  Providing support and treatment services that enable persons suffering from a mental illness to participate fully in all aspects of community life.

  Ensuring the existence of legislation to reduce discrimination in the workplace.

What are the particular challenges of resettling long-stay mental patients in the community, and what kinds of resource are needed to support them there?

1. Hard to place psychiatric patient due to behavioral/management problems.

2. Difficulty placing patient into the community due to lack of financial resources.

3. How do we take care of the geriatric patient with a psychiatric disorder who becomes combative/disruptive that he is not allowed to remain in secure environments due to the high risk of harm to other patients?


1. First fix the behavioral problems and poor compliance.

2. The Training centers, employment programs, volunteer options and local clubs should all be part of the life plan of these people.

3. Encourage realistic consideration of work and practical steps in preparation for reintegration, such as enrolment at a day programme.

4. Involve them in any Meaningful occupation such as volunteer work etc.

What are the rewards and stresses of work in mental health services? What measures might employing organisations take to reduce the effects of stress on staff and improve their job satisfaction?
The biggest reward for the people who are engaged in the mental health services is naturally the one when patient is recovered from mental illness. Besides getting mental satisfaction, they are also reward by the government for their meticulous services like “Award for Excellence in Community Mental Health Services”, 2006 Public Citizen of the Year award. Thus Government does appreciate these noble souls who are engaged in community welfare programs.


They can reduce the stress of staff by:

Effective management structure

Clear purpose & goals
Functionally defined roles
Team support
Making appropriate plans for stress management
Proper management of workload
Balanced lifestyle
Discuss the view that madness can be a valuable experience if only its value is recognized.

Never consider the person who is mad as incompetent, as what he can provide to the Society, no able person can provide. For eg. If a person is disillusioned with the society apathetic attitude, so in his madness he will keep on reflecting and mentioning about what’s wrong in the Society but we ignore his talks, but if we clearly ponder on his talks,  we will realize what role he is playing in giving the best to the Society which no body will ever intend to give.

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Mental health and illness. (2017, Feb 14). Retrieved from

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