Mental Health Systems

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Assignment
 2
  Mental
 Health
 Policy
 and
 Plans
 

Assignment 2 Advocacy for integration of mental health care into primary care and the development of psychiatric rehabilitation services and programs The development of integration of mental health care in primary care is crucial for diverse reasons which include the fact that: - Mental diseases are frequent and create substantial social, professional and economical loss to society, namely in Portugal 1 in each 5 people has a mental disorder, numbers that go highly above European statistics - The coexistence of physical disorders and mental disorders is usual and integrating mental health care into primary care provides for a global and inclusive approach to any individual - There is a great disparity between the frequency of mental illness and the amount of individuals receiving treatment, since there are little resources for specialized treatment to attend to all the needs in mental health care - Access to mental health care is easier when it is a part of primary health care, since it is located closer to patients’ homes and it improves community integration and monitoring - Stigma is lessened and human rights violations are inexistent - It is less expensive and more cost-effective than psychiatric hospitals and it also diminishes indirect costs with long distance dislocations - Outcomes are favorable and intervention is effective, especially when there is a connection with community services - The primary health care team is in contact with a broad range of the population and can therefore identify particular symptoms and signs early in the evolution of disease, providing for timely intervention and a better outcome - Consumers prefer being attended at a primary health care setting than a psychiatric service - The relationship that settles between a primary health care professional and his/her patient attains comfort to the disabled patient and favors communication; on the other hand the primary health care team has a holistic vision of the subject and namely has deep knowledge on the individual’s background, which improves understanding of the patient’s difficulties and hardships - Health education, prevention and intervention is possible on a more often basis in a primary health care setting The development of psychiatric rehabilitation services makes possible for the patients to become functional and integrated into society, improving their ability to work and be economically productive, create  

Assignment
 2
  Mental
 Health
 Policy
 and
 Plans
 

and maintain interpersonal relationships; it strengthens individuals’ self esteem and sense of accomplishment, providing for faster and better recoveries. Strategies for developing integration of mental health care in primary health care Since Portugal is a country with a high prevalence of mental disorders a reorganization of services is in order. Psychiatric services are unable to handle every case of mental disorder and the lack of contact with general population increases the sub diagnostic frequency of this diseases. This problem can only be solved by focusing mental health care in a community setting, creating services linked to primary care. The two most frequent disorders are anxiety (16,5%) and depression (7,9%). Interventions should be legislated by mental health policy and plans formalizing the government’s commitment towards integration. Mental health coordinators should be assigned to direct these strategies. The main goals of integration are: 1. Goal: Development of community based mental health services and psychiatry units at general hospital Strategy: The country should be divided into sociodemographic areas of care including 4 main directions: o Integrated Program of Care for Severe Mental Disorders which provides for Assertive Community Treatment for these patients o Program for interaction with general practice professionals, directed towards common...
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