Community Mental Health

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Evaluate the job role and function of three mental health professionals outlined in this course and their effectiveness.

Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN)

Community psychiatric nurses have a vast amount of responsibilities and roles within the mental health sector. They are a registered nurse that have undergone specialised training in mental health who work within the community. Some can be attached to general doctor surgeries, within the prison system, mental health units, homes and even the homeless and/or community mental health centres to name a few. They may also have their own practices. They not only work with the patient they also work with and along side the families educating them to understand and cope with the patients illness. A CPN teach the patient not only understanding the illness but also how to cope with the illness. They will also look at the medication the patient may be taking and assess this or assist on what medication the patient should be taking. Their roles vary and include counselling the patient. Teaching the patient how to manage anxiety. A CPN would teach patients strategies on how to cope with short term problems but will also work with severe mental health problems which require continued support over a long period of time. They work with individuals and families but they also work within groups and communities to assess mental health needs, develop diagnoses and plan then implement and evaluate nursing care. They can assist patients with self-care activities, health teaching, crisis intervention and case management. Helping patients with practical problems. CPN’s are often qualified to deliver different types of therapy including behaviour therapy. Their roles include offering emotional support to both the patient and family and help the patient explore ways of living with their illness. CPN’s keep regular contact with the patient and assesses any changes in their mental health and the patients day to day needs. They can also request an urgent opinion from a psychiatrist if they feel that the patients condition requires this. It is hard to define what roles CPD’s perform as their roles are being rapidly defined.

Psychologists

Psychologists have specialised training but they are not medical doctors and can not prescribe drugs to the patients. They deal with the way the mind works. They normally undertake psychological talking treatments with patients. Psychologists may work within a hospital or community working directly with mental health problems. They help patients deal with problems ranging from short term personal issues to severe chronic conditions. Psychologists will interview the patient, perform diagnostic tests, then provide either/and individuals, family and group psychotherapy. Through interviews and different tests they perform on a patient they will find patterns that will help them understand and predict their behaviour. They will identify and diagnose behavioural, emotional and/or mental disorders while working with individuals, couples and families and help them implement changes to their behaviour. They design behaviour modification programs and help the patient implement this program. Psychologists collaborate with physicians and/or social workers to help treat their patients. Their role is to assess and help patients manage and alleviate their mental distress, to promote better health. There are a number of different styles of therapy that psychologists may use but they will choose the type that best addresses the patients problems. Common types of therapy may include behavioural, cognitive, cognitive-behavioural, interpersonal or a combination of a few therapy styles. Psychologists evaluate, plan, develop and implement mental health programs to promote subjective well being and personal development. They help patients with gaining a new view or perspective on the situations in their lives. They focus on helping their patients challenge their long-held...
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