Mental Health Services

Mental health problems are common with around 25% of the population believed to be suffering from some form of mental health problem at any point in time. Anyone suffering from a mental health problem can access proper treatment and most who do seek help will make a complete recovery but unfortunately, there are still people who are afraid of admitting that they cannot cope or that they need help and will suffer unnecessary mental distress due to lack of understanding about their illness or awareness of what help is available. So what mental health services are available to anyone suffering from mental illness?

Doctor

The first point of contact is your doctor. They will be able to make a full assessment of your symptoms and your physical and mental health in general as well as take into consideration any other factors involved including any family history of mental illness in order to make an accurate diagnosis because an accurate diagnosis is essential if the right help and assistance is to be offered. For most people, a simple visit to the doctor may be all that is required to put them on the road to recovery.

However, your doctor might feel that you could also benefit from other mental health services so once he or she has made a diagnosis they will be able to start you on a suitable treatment programme which could include medication and/or referral to other professionals or specialists in the community mental health team as required, for example, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, various types of counsellors or therapists and so on.

The Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)

It may be that you require specialist skills in order to help you cope with your mental illness and as one person couldn’t conceivably be an expert in every single area, you could be referred to someone in the community mental health team. The community mental health team will vary depending on which area that you live, some may be attached to a hospital or work from a doctors surgery and others could possibly have their own clinic in a separate building but typically, they consist of professionals such as psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses who may also be trained to deal with specific problems or behaviours, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers, and various other therapists and counsellors.

It is quite likely that one person will be appointed as your key worker and will be liaising with you on a regular basis and visiting you at home. This person could be a social worker, a nurse, some type of therapist or quite commonly, a community psychiatric nurse or CPN.

The CPN will assess your progress on a regular basis, will identify and help you deal with any problems you might have and put you in touch with others who can help, they will monitor your mediation and any effects of that medication and will generally offer support. They will work closely with other professionals in the team so that everyone is aware of any particular issues or challenges that need to be dealt with. The CMHT will also regularly inform your doctor about your progress, your medication and any other issues involved in your case.

It might be that you need help from other professionals. For example, an occupational therapist can help you regain some independence in your life if you are suffering from any disabilities, they can help you to do things for yourself and improve your confidence in areas such as dressing, washing and other practical skills. Social workers can help with many social problems such as housing needs, financial issues and maybe parenting or child care challenges. Basically, the Community Mental Health Team enables you to access the right kind of help from professionals who are trained in a specific area.

Hospital

It might be that you need to spend some time in hospital to get over a particularly difficult episode of mental illness or where it is considered appropriate but this decision is not taken lightly. Hospitals can offer safety and protection and many people will voluntarily admit themselves to hospital in order to get the right assistance and support. However, there are also compulsory admissions made under the Mental Health Act in order to protect the person themselves or those around them. For some people, the thought of admission to hospital can be frightening but it is important to remember that a stay in hospital can be a lifesaver and hospitals are there to help and are better equipped to deal with particularly severe cases of mental illness.

More support

Family and friends can be instrumental in helping someone who is suffering from mental health problems to progress and regain control of their lives and as such are an extremely important part of any support network. There are also numerous other agencies, support organisations, and charities offering help to people suffering from various mental health problems. Some will also tackle issues related to mental health by raising awareness in the community and others can provide information, advice and support to people who are affected by mental health problems in their family. You can ask your doctor or mental health professional what other assistance is available in your area.

Beyond the Community Mental Health Service Improvement Act

As demand for mental health and addictions treatment grows, insurance coverage must be preserved and expanded. It’s critical that we preserve the guarantee of Medicaid coverage for low income, disabled Americans. Commercial parity must be passed; Medicare parity must follow; and if we accept what research is teaching us–that addictions are chronic, relapsing conditions that require ongoing monitoring and management, just like diabetes, asthma, and yes like mental illnesses–then we must act. We must lead the fight to restore eligibility for social security disability for people with addiction disorders.

Data collected by non-profit organizations documents increased demand and increased numbers of uninsured. States reallocated their general fund mental health dollars to the Medicaid match. And now state plans to cover the uninsured are floundering. This leaves large numbers of individuals with treatable mental illnesses in our overburdened emergency rooms and without access to the services that can engage them, treat them, and return them to work.

We’re denying our economy productive taxpayers. We’re wasting human lives. We must introduce and champion a federal funding stream to cover the mental health and addictions treatment costs of the uninsured.

The Community Mental Health Service Improvement Act begins to address our workforce crisis, but it’s just a beginning.

We cannot stand by and watch our best and brightest become plastic surgeons and investment bankers. Skilled staff demands adequate compensation. We must be attractive to leaders that reflect the diversity of our communities. And we can’t allow people with serious mental illnesses or addictions to wait for weeks and months for an appointment with a psychiatrist. We must be clear and forceful advocates for cost based reimbursement that supports salaries that can attract and retain skilled staff.

If we truly want to narrow the gap between science and service, we must stop investing in manuals and planning grants, and start investing in retooling the organizations that deliver services.

We must preserve, strengthen and expand the mental health and addictions treatment capacity in this country. But it has not been and it will not be easy.

We are part of a healthcare system that reflects the American belief in the marketplace. A healthcare system that talks universal coverage but hates taxes. A healthcare system that resists cost containment, counting on disease management and prevention for savings, although so far they show little evidence of delivering savings. A healthcare system that’s promoting “medical homes” as the newest cost saving strategy, confusing a strategy to improve the quality of care with one that saves money.

But we do know something about saving money. Pioneering studies are telling us that there are enormous disparities in healthcare expenditures from one region of our country to another, with no difference in healthcare outcomes. If the entire nation could bring its costs down to match the lower spending regions, we would cut 20 to 30 percent off America’s healthcare bill. Most of the difference in spending is for hospital care. Hospitalization, including inpatient psychiatric care, is a vital intervention that must be available but in many communities we can do better.

If we’re serious about improving consumer outcomes, point of service is where improvement will occur.

What is the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program?

The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant is authorized by Part B of Title XIX of the Public Health Service Act and is the single largest Federal contribution dedicated to improving mental health service systems across the country. The Center for Mental Health Services’ Community Mental Health Services Block Grant awards grants to the States to provide mental health services to people with mental disorders. Through the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, a joint Federal-State partnership, CMHS supports existing public services and encourages the development of creative and cost-effective systems of community-based care for people with serious mental disorders. With the current changes in the health care delivery system, improving access to community-based systems is especially important. CMHS is the Federal agency that oversees State Mental Health Plans and Implementation Reports, using mental health experts for the regional consultative application review process.

Who does the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program serve?

o In communities throughout the United States, mental disorders affect people of all ages and in all walks of life. Almost 54 million adults in the United States are affected by mental disorders in any given year.

o Preliminary studies indicate that more than 12 million children (20 percent of all children) in the United States experience mental and emotional disturbances while growing up.

o Each year in the United States, more than 5 million adults and children are diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and other serious mental disorders. People with these disorders have extensive and complex needs, and most individuals quickly exhaust available insurance benefits. At that point, they and their families often turn to their States and the public system of mental health care.

What does the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program do?

o Because what is effective in one State may not be effective in another, the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant works in close collaboration with each State or Territory to develop and implement its own State Mental Health Plan for improving community-based services and reducing reliance on hospitalization. The program stipulates that case management be provided to individuals with the most serious mental disorders and encourages appropriate partnerships among a wide range of health, dental, mental health, vocational, housing, and educational services. The program also promotes partnerships among Federal, State, and local government agencies.

o The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant supports grassroots involvement of the major stakeholders in mental health services at both the State and the Federal levels. Each State or Territory is required to have a mental health planning council to review the State Mental Health Plan. Each council must include consumers of mental health services and family members, as well as service providers and State officials. The State also is required to seek comments from the public on its plan.

o At the Federal level, mental health planning council members-including family members, consumers, State officials, and service providers-serve as CMHS reviewers of State Mental Health Plans and Implementation Reports. They often share their expertise at regional and national technical assistance meetings.

What types of technical assistance does CMHS provide?

Five percent of funding is set aside for the Center for Mental Health Services to provide technical assistance, data collection, and evaluation activities to States and territories and their representatives, as well as mental health

o The Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program, designed to develop minimum data standards that provide a basis for uniform, comparable, high-quality statistics on mental health services;

o The National Reporting Program, the only national source of information on mental health organizations, services, and service recipients; and

o National Technical Assistance Centers: one of which evaluates systems that serve children, another of which evaluates systems that serve adults, and the third of which provides technical assistance to the States for mental health planning.

CMHS conducts national and regional technical assistance meetings dealing with the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant application process, the enhancement of existing systems of community mental health services, strategies for transitioning into a managed care environment, development of a national set of mental health objectives, and use of consumer outcome objectives.

o Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Funding

For free information about the Mental Health Block Grant Program and other CMHS programs – including publications, references, and referrals to local and national resources and organizations – call 1.800.789.2647; (TDD) 1.866.889.2647.

Mental Health Services For The Elderly

One out of every five adult Americans suffers with mental illness. Some important mental health problems that occur during old age include dementia, delirium, psychosis, schizophrenia and depression. Elders suffering with mental health problems tend to have abnormal cognitive and behavioral patterns that are often associated with decreased ability to function. Other prominent symptoms that elders usually complain include sleep disturbances, a change in appetite and mood differences.

In most cases, mental health problems in elders that require treatment are quite conveniently ignored. Improper treatment of mental illnesses in elders seems to the most prominent reason contributing to high suicidal rate in these people. Many of these people require specialized mental health services.

However, there are several reasons that contribute to improper mental health services to the elderly. Some of them are listed below:

1. In most cases, elders are reluctant to undergo treatment for their mental health disorder. They continue to harbor their minds with discomfort and stigmas, thereby showing resistance to leaving their homes and going to a rehabilitation center or a clinic.

2. Our society has never shown respect or dignity for individuals suffering from mental health problems. Even a mental health professional is apprehensive about an elderly person with such condition. Beliefs and attitudes of these professionals do have a significant influence on the quality of medical care provided to the patients.

3. Medical negligence is another big hurdle. In many situations, symptoms of mental health diseases are just written off as indicators of ageing.

Other major hurdles include scarcity in federal and state-supported community prevention programs for elders, inadequate private health insurance coverage and lack of well-trained mental health staff.

Using Social Networks to Promote Weight Loss in Health Services

Health Services Can Use Social Networks to Promote Weight Loss

The rise of obesity and weight-related diseases in the US has made it imperative for health services to do everything in their power to educate the public about these deadly threats. However, this is easier said than done. Many things impact a health service’s ability to educate and provide vital help. Modern technology can provide vital assistance here, though. A weight loss social networking site can offer important tools and help to consumers, but can also ensure benefits to the health service, as well.

Less Money Spent on Marketing

One of the first things that your health service will notice is the immense amount of money saved on marketing. This is because social media marketing can lower or even eliminate the cost of traditional advertising, by allowing your network’s users to spread the message.

Reach More People

When you present potential users with an incredible site, as well as the ability to become a member at no charge, you are able to increase your reach exponentially. In addition, such a social networking site can begin generating immense traffic right away.

Better Retention

Ensuring that your users are provided with the help and information they need means keeping them from leaving. With social media marketing and the best possible tools, you will increase your retention rate by 40%.

Service around the Clock

It’s not possible for any health service to offer 24-hour service in the traditional sense. However, with a social network, your users will be able to access weight loss and diet information and interact with others at any time. In addition, your marketing will operate at all times, as well.

More Value to Your Members

As a health service, it’s important that you give your members the utmost in terms of value. You can do just that when you offer them an award-winning weight loss program packed with more than 50 powerful tools to help them achieve their goals as quickly and easily as possible.

Membership Growth Is Assured

One of the most advantageous things about having your own social network for weight loss, diet and better health is that you can take advantage of viral marketing to spread the word. Your users will refer their friends and family, and so on, down the chain. You can enjoy referral increases of 25% here.

Your Members Are Already Online

95% of your members are already using some form of social networking. By providing them with vital help and tools for weight loss and better health through a social network, you simply encourage them to interact and socialize within your network – something with which they are already comfortable.

Lower the Costs of Communication

Communication and gathering information can be costly. However, with a social network geared to provide weight loss and health information, you can easily share with your members, communicate about their likes and dislikes, and encourage leadership, ownership and community.

Awareness and Better Image

Another highly benefit of providing your members and clients with a social networking site for weight loss and diet is that you will be able to enhance your organization’s image very easily, as well as improve your branding efforts.

Hassle-Free and Low Cost

Finally, you’ll find that all the work has already been done. With a turnkey social network, the hard work has already been completed and all you have to do is invite your members.