This assignment is aiming to develop an essay analysing the reason of increasing waiting time in mental health hospitals and causative reasons behind this increase in waiting period. This essay will reflecting on various factors which collectively develop mental health services like psychiatrist, mental health nurses, mental asylums, funding, new management approaches, availability of rooms etc. This is a secondary research assignment which will be relying on various literature sources to assess the current situation (Rana & Upton, 2009).BODY OF ESSAY Mental health is defined as a state of complete emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It describes the state of absence of any mental disorder. Mental health of a person decides his behaviour, his thoughts as well his way to cope up with life.
Mental health is very significant in all the stages of life whether it is childhood, adulthood or old age. It decides the way the person will deal with stress and problems of life and how will he indulge in relationships.It also helps an individual to take decisions in life, recognize his abilities work productively and create a balance in all the activities of life. Mental health disorders in today’s world are growing at a rapid pace and Bendigo is no untouched place from this trend.
In Bendigo city (Victoria) Bendigo health is the organization which takes care of the psychiatric services to the citizens of area. Services offered by Bendigo health are both in patient as well as community services to improve mental health status in patient.According to latest figures issued by Bendigo health organization number of patients visiting hospital for mental health disorders are increasing on a year on year basis and there is a concern that in future this number will rise to a peak where it would be unmanageable with current resources.
In last couple of decades department of health and ageing in Australia also broadened its definition of mental health disorders and included many new horizons in it (Staunton & Chiarella, 2008). “Mental health disorder is an anomaly in a person’s psychological behaviour.There are many diseases which are considered as mental disorders also termed as mental illness. These may include common diseases like anger, anxiety, depression, drug dependence, insomnia, alcoholism, panic disorders etc or less common mental diseases like schizophrenia, delusional disorders, Tourette’s syndrome, kleptomania, etc. ” (Samartzi, 2011). This is one of the reasons why mental health patients are rapidly increasing in all regions of world including Bendigo is increasing because many diseases which were earlier not considered are now included and treated as a mental disorder.These disorders can be caused by various diverse reasons.
They may be caused due to genetic or developmental defect, trauma during pregnancy or injury at the time of delivery, maternal psychological stress, etc. Sometimes even few infections caused by some viruses or parasites may also lead to development of mental illness for example Schizophrenia is being related with the infection of a parasite Toxoplasma gondii. There are many evidences which suggest that mental disorders can be closely related to negative events of person’s life such as ill treatment in childhood, physical or sexual abuse, etc (Groleau, et al.2007).WHO ICPE data from year 2008 suggests that out of every 3 person 1 is suffering from or suffered a mental disorder at some point of time in his or her life. For example in US data of department of health services show that a US adult experience an average of 3.
4 mentally unhealthy day in a period of 30 days(HRQOL DATA). 4 main mental disorders prevalent are anxiety, mood disorder, impulse control, and substance abuse. Out of these 4 most common disorder is Anxiety followed by mood disorder (depression and bipolar disorder).Disease is reported more in females than males. It affects 26. 4% people in US (Funnell, et al.
2009). For every 20 public psychiatric beds in US in 1955, only 1 bed existed in 2005 for similar number of population, similarly according to Treatment Advocacy Centre, March 2008 report. Also, there were 340 public psychiatric beds in 1955 but it reduced to 17 beds/ 100,000 US citizens in US. This indicates that rising number of mental disorder patients are way higher than the rate of growth in resources for managing mental disorders.In this essay our main concern is increasing number of unattended psychiatry patients, we should have a look at the reason for same. Every year we are noticing increase in number of patients affected with mental disorder. Its due to increase in professionalism, more stress, less no.
of family members and friends and craving to have more money, broken relationships, loss of a near or dear ones and many other factors impacting the same. The number of hospitals and community clinics to cater psychiatry needs of patients is not increasing in the same way.Even if no of hospitals do increase, there is no balance between the ratio of psychiatry patients and doctors, nurses, paramedical staff trained in psychiatric disorders. The no. of medical/nursing students opting for psychiatry as there special branch are still less due to social stigma attached with this branch (Stein-Parbury, 2009). On the same note of social stigma it is also observed in various communities that many patients and relatives are too shy to come forward and speak about their mental health.Generally these people go unnoticed and untreated at initial stages where they can be treated without being admitted while on the other hand when they return back their severity of disorder is very high and they take a lot more time and resources to get treated.
Thus social stigma associated with mental disorder is actually making things worse for the existing patient and increasing the waiting time in hospitals and clinics, ultimately affecting health of society, well being and growth of the country (Drescher, et al 2008).There are four major factors identified as impacting the waiting period in mental health departments of Bendigo base hospital. They are as follows 1) patients who need hospitalization 2) length of stay in hospitals 3) financing structure 4) cost of treatment and decide about number of special beds/ wards required in hospitals for psychiatry patients. It is also dependent upon the number of asylums needed as per the number of patients and actual availability of asylum.
Number of trained nurses in mental health and staffs, doctor patient ratio also impacts the waiting period time for a new patient if he is trying to get admitted.The major concern is waiting period for the patients due to shortage of above factors (Happell, et al. 2008).
According to Coomb, (2013) mental health nursing courses are also not sufficiently developed to provide a comprehensive assessment and care giving skills in nursing students. It is observed in the study done by him on a group of 20 mental health nursing professionals that for each patient they had a different opinion, different level of intervention strategies and different approached. This lack of uniformity in treatment might disrupt the entire schedule of a department and make waiting period even longer for patients.This research study implicate that more training and education is required to the students of bachelor in mental health nursing to develop comprehensive care plan which is efficient and effective in nature. In a small sized town like Bendigo with population close to 90000 it is very important that sufficient number of mental health facilities should be available (McCalman, 2001). According to Bendigo city’s data only one public hospital is available by name Bendigo base hospital and they have 30 bedded facilities for mental health patients.
Bendigo health organization has on the other hand a comprehensive program where mental health care is provided at age care homes (4 to be precise) and a help at home support program is initiated. Along with providing health services in mental health to the patients who cannot reach hospital, this program is also reducing the waiting period in hospitals by reducing the number of patients visiting hospital for treatment and admittance. An emergency contact number is established by Bendigo health organization for reporting of a mental health patient for local citizens.
This service is known as psychiatric triage services. Similarly a 12 month special nursing program is developed by Bendigo health where nurses would be trained in a specialized area and transited from a general nurse to a specialized nurse. All these aspects of Bendigo health organization are aiming to develop a balance between the resources available and resources needed in mental health care. Once this balance is achieved then waiting time problem of mental health patient would reduce to a great extent (Reed, 2009). CONCLUSIONIn conclusion it can be stated that rise in mental health disorder patient’s number and increase in waiting time period of each patient is a problem which cannot be solved by just opening more hospitals or increasing number of beds. This problem is more fundamental in nature and its solution will arrive from grass root level only. First solution would be to increase awareness among society so that mental health patient can be detected at early stage and also increasing the number of human resources trained in mental health will resolve the problem completely (Donahue, 2010).
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