Adolescent Mental Health Facilities

Topics: Psychiatry, Mental disorder, Psychiatric hospital Pages: 8 (3351 words) Published: May 10, 2005
Adolescent Mental Health Facilities
An adolescent is defined to be someone who has undergone puberty but has not yet reached full adulthood. This time usually begins at the start of middle school. It is a very stressful time for most adolescents because of all the changes going on around them. Not only are they dealing with social stresses, but things at home might not be all right. They may be starting to use drugs, or even worse they could be addicted already. Sexual pressure also starts to become a more frequent stressor. These problems may not seem to be the end of the world for adults, but it can cause severe damage physically and mentally, to an adolescent. More and more teenagers are encountering tough situations that drive them to have mental disorders. In extreme cases going to a mental health facility or psychiatric ward of a hospital is the best thing one could do to help these adolescents. The problem is that there are not enough facilities like that for teenage sufferers. More adolescent psychiatric wards or mental health facilities need to be built solely for the overwhelming number of teenagers with mental disorders. The first mental health facility in the United States opened in 1773 in Williamsburg, Virginia. By 1832 there were 32 facilities, and those that were mentally ill in jail and almshouses were being moved into these places. In 1930 the US finally established a division called the Narcotics Division to bring together research on drug addiction and metal disease and how to prevent and treat both of these problems. In the 40's during World War II there was a shortage of mental health personnel. It got so bad that federal action had to be taken. There was a proposal for a mental health program and from that came the National Mental Health Act of 1946. After President Truman signed this act a significant amount of money was put towards the research and education of mental illnesses. All the money and research lead to the founding of the National Institute of Mental Health in 1949. Also in 1949 lithium was discovered to reduce the symptoms of bipolar disease, but the FDA did not approve the drug until 1970. Congress authorized the Mental Health Study Act of 1955. Then in 1956 they also appropriated $12 million to the research of psychopharmacology. In 1965 there was a major improvement in mental health care. The improvements included, "Construction and staffing grants to centers were extended and facilities that served those with alcohol and substance abuse disorders were made eligible to receive grants" (Van Loon). Another grant was also given to advance the research of children's services. Then in 1981 the Mental Health Study Act of 1955 was replaced by the Alcohol, Drug, Abuse, and Mental Health block grant. In June of 1999 President Clinton held a conference on mental health while the nation awaited the Surgeon General's report on mental health. Then in October 2000 President Clinton signed the Children's Health Act that, "establishes national standards that restrict the use of seclusion and restraint in all psychiatric facilities that receive federal funds" (Van Loon). Presently President Bush is conducting more research in what the nation can do to better mental health facilities. The process of being admitted to a mental health ward or hospital is the same for adolescents and adults. A potential patient goes to the emergency room. The person may go on his own will or be brought there by the police because he is a threat to himself. The person then gets all his or her vital signs checked by the nurse. After that the crisis unit takes the person into a room and a social worker conducts an interview. The questions he or she asks are aimed at determining if the person is experiences the symptoms of a mental illness. According to Davis things the interviewer needs to ask himself include, "Does this patient have the potential for self-harm? Might this patient have a potential possibly harm him or...
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