As a new employee hired by a small local hospital as an Administrative Assistant, I have been assigned the task of gathering information for the department head that would help develop a plan to place mentally ill patients in the appropriate setting for care and how I intend to carry this plan out. The definition of mental illness according to the website, www. science. education. nih.
gov/supplements states that it is a health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings, or behavior (or all three) and that causes the person distress and difficulty in functioning. I don’t think mental illness can be clearly defined as a physical illness in comparison to diabetes, and mental illness cannot be cured. I believe it can only be managed by medication, counseling, therapy, individual and group and support from family and/or friends.
I think the concept of deinstitutionalization has been effective in providing needed services to the mentally ill because I feel the patient responds better when they are given a say and the opportunity to interact with people on their level. For example, if a mentally ill person is incarcerated, I’ve seen on reality TV shows where the inmate literally goes crazy, because they are locked up, only given 1 hour a day in most cases to bathe and get a little exercise.
If these mentally ill people are expected to get half of a chance to re-enter society as a productive citizen instead of treating them like a caged animal, work with them, provide them services that will help them, provide incentives, group or individual therapy sessions, medications, these benefits named above are benefits I feel if any facility should embrace the concept of deinstitutionalization, to allow these individuals a chance to function as normal as possible in society.
Health care professionals that provide mental health care in my opinion are typically not integrated with other systems, as these patients are usually seen by private practices or facilities that specialize only in mental health services. I believe the consequences of separating mental health from physical health care is not a good idea because It could only benefit the patient to have their primary doctor work hand in hand with their mental health provider so that these doctors can coordinate care and medications.
There are many other services that are needed by the mentally ill, for example, transportation to and from appointments, services that would allow them to be social and to have the opportunity to learn from what they are taught in therapy sessions as to how to interact with others. I think another great service would be to have financial assistance for those less fortunate to be able to afford the counseling and the medications as well as more services offered in one’s community at a minimal cost of free.
The three governmental sources that pay for mental health care are Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration for Veterans. The populations that are covered by these sources are the military veterans, elderly, disabled and lower income bracket people. There are many challenges to using a managed care approach in mental health care. One of those challenges are there is not many community based facilities for people with these types of needs , there are many places that offer the care but they don’t people unless they are insured or what have you.
I do believe if there could be a managed care model created that would offer all the needed services and benefits that could be monitored and these patients could be followed and managed through their care, this could surely reduce health care spending. As the hired administrative assistant, to ensure the mentally ill are placed into the appropriate care facility, I would first conduct a complete assessment of my patient, determine the needs of the patient , speak with family or friends to get feedback from another source other than the patient.
Is long or short term needed, what his/her financial resources are, and to have a discussion with the patient to attempt to determine what they feel their role is in getting better and if they are willing to cooperate. Once all of these details are established I would have a starting point when going down the list of facilities to determine which one would best fit the needs of the patient.
There are always challenges when it comes to coordinating care for someone, I feel when dealing with mental care it can be even more challenging because the patient is not always willing to accept the fact hat there is an issue and that they need help. I believe the main objective should be to focus on the individual, their illness and the resources you have to ensure you have the patient’s best interest at heart.