Scenario Based Essay

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Promoting Individual Health

The aim of this plan is to maintain and promote Molly’s mental health as she goes through an important and potentially difficult postpartum period of her life, where her mental state is more vulnerable to possible decline. It is important for Molly to remain mentally stable and well during this period because any deterioration in her mental health can have serious, negative effects on her new child’s development, both in the short and long term. This plan outlines the factors that can affect Molly’s mental health, identifies needs and risks and lists possible interventions to address those needs and risks.

Molly is a thirty-year old married woman with a three-year old son. She has become a mother again, having recently given birth to her second child. Molly has been diagnosed with postnatal anaemia, which, if left untreated, increases her risk of postnatal depression. Having recently given birth, Molly may be prone to a temporary hormonal imbalance, which can affect her mood and emotional state in the short term. Though Molly’s husband has two weeks of paternity leave, once he returns to work he will be away for long periods at a time. This means that Molly may be isolated at home on her own with her newborn baby as well as her three-year old son, for long periods. Those can be a stressful and difficult periods for Molly to cope with on her own. Molly has received additional support from her parents, however she has complained to her husband that they can be “over-bearing” at times. Having an adequate support network is a crucial factor to promoting Molly’s mental health, therefore maintaining a positive relationship between her and her parents is important. Molly’s three-year old son has missed some developmental milestones with regard to his speech, according to his school. Also they report his concentration levels to be poor. This may be an indication of previous infant regulatory disturbances, such as sleeping problems, eating problems or excessive crying. Molly has identified running as an effective coping mechanism for herself when faced with difficult and stressful periods in her life. Having regular access to this activity is a key aspect of maintaining Molly’s resilience during this postpartum period.

The bio-psychosocial factors that may affect Molly’s mental health include the prolonged isolation at home with the young children; the stress of raising a newborn child; her physical condition, e.g. her anaemia diagnosis; her relationship with her parents; and Molly’s level of resilience and ability to appropriate deal with stress. Her care plan (see appendix) attempts to address these points through a variety of health promotion approaches ranging from the educational approach to the medical approach, whilst also including the behavioural approach in some instances.

The biggest concern for Molly’s mental health is her falling into a state of postnatal depression. This is because of the far reaching implications that it can have on her children’s current and future development. Postnatal depression is a condition that can affect up to one in seven women. Women diagnosed with anaemia have been identified as being at an increased risk. At present, there is little evidence of any successful preventative interventions that have been identified for postnatal depression. Therefore early detection is crucial in managing the risks of postnatal depression. Once detected, there are a range of effective treatments for postnatal depression including talking therapies, self-help advice and antidepressant medication. In the current scenario, it is important to educate Molly and her family about the early signs of postnatal depression and what can be done if they feel Molly may be displaying some of those symptoms.

The key points of the plan are educating Molly and her family with information about how to monitor Molly’s mental health, encouraging Molly to adopt certain behaviours that...
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