How to solve mental health issues in a local community

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Previously, in earlier years, there was a stigma around people with mental health problems. People with mental illnesses were outcasts of society and treated unfairly. There used to be a great shame on a family who had someone in their family with a mental illness.  

Recently, it has become easier and more acceptable to discuss and to show compassion towards anyone with a mental illness. To further improve the openness about mental illnesses it is important to talk openly about this topic.  It is also important to educate ourselves, rather than criticize people with a mental illness.  

Nowadays, treatment options are more easily discussed, and it has become somewhat of a status symbol to see a psychiatrist from time to time.  

Globally, community-based mental health care has become a thing and people with mental illnesses can easily receive treatment in their community rather than to be sent to a health care facility. More self-help options have become available, and with the incorporation of families, treatment for mental illness can be accessed faster.

Because everyone is more aware of these diseases, most mental issues can be diagnosed fairly easy and a proper treatment program can be prescribed by a family physician rather than a psychiatrist.   

For the correct choice of appropriate treatment, it is extremely important that the correct diagnosis is made at an early stage of the mental illness, to prevent the disease from progressing into a full-blown disease. 

The earlier the symptoms are identified, the earlier treatment can start, and thus a better outcome can be expected. This is especially important for diseases like schizophrenia. The faster the disease is diagnosed and treated the better the outcome.  

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning and can be disabling.  
Treatment is usually lifelong and often involves a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and coordinated specialty care services. 

Once a mental illness is identified, it is important to continue and follow up on treatment.  Mental illness should actually be treated no differently than physical illness. Chronic care is needed, and treatment options should be adapted and continued throughout. 

Family involvement is of utter importance during the treatment periods so that they can give the person with the mental illness the necessary support when others cannot. The whole idea behind community support is to prevent people from being institutionalized unnecessarily. Only if the family is not able to cope or support the person with mental illness, the patient should be sent to a formal medical facility where others with the same mental illnesses are treated. After treatment, there should be stepdown facilities so that the person that suffered from mental illness can be eased back into society. 

The ultimate goal is for a person with a mental illness to function normally in the community or workplace after successful treatment. 

There are however certain mental illnesses for which there are no cures, but the person with the mental illness can function more normally in a normal environment should he/she be on chronic medication for the illness. With family and community support the medication can be adapted and changed over time should there be any changes in the behavior of the person. 

What is Alzheimer's disease?

 It is one of the most common forms of dementia, a group of symptoms that lead to a decline in mental function severe enough to disrupt daily life. Alzheimer's disease causes problems with a person's memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate, and carry out daily activities. 

A different type of mental illness is Alzheimer’s disease.  Worldwide there has been a wonderful improvement in the support of patients who suffer from dementia.  This started as a community project and the ADI (Alzheimer’s disease international) now supports 57 national associations worldwide. This was a community-driven project and has now changed into worldwide support for Alzheimer’s patients. 

Through community support, the whole stigma behind mental illnesses can be eliminated easily and put to rest, so that healing can begin at home.    





Great article.
Isn't it incredible that for so many centuries the medical sector has been so adamant about curing physical ailments (by whatever 'means' necessary) and at the same time have been so determined to ignore and even stigmatise people with mental health illnesses, but yet it is so blatantly obvious that the brain and the body are so intrinsically connected that they have deep impacts upon each other and for some reason, even in the 21st century medical sector, this simple logic is still denied not only in western society, but unfortunately so sooo many other countries where mental health illness simply 'do not exist' or are a 'westerners disease'...

Good on you for writing about 2 topics that are completely opposite to each other in terms of societal acceptance.

I mean, people really don't want to accept Alzheimers or Dementia because they really are rotten diseases, but there it is and it is a globally acknowledged illness of the brain that thousands are working on the prevent, eradicate and create the awareness of.

And then there's Schizophrenia. A hell of a lot of people have it, but no-one wants to know about it- or them. Especially non-medical people.

I am not going to pretend that I know anything about it, but I do know that a have a few friends that have it and apart from the impact of the side effects from long term use of their medication, you would never know.
This is what they do.

Their are true champions and they are champions for the cause to empower others that suffer from not only the illnesses, but also the stigma attached.
Thank you.

Thanks for the link it is absolutely a brilliant organization. I have listened to the one video, will sure check out some more.

I am their mentor in video production and this is me- my doco about helping females in the mental health system. I'm editing it now. I have juts cut a 40min version to submit to the royal commission into mental health that we're having here in Australia at the moment and then the feature length version I am cutting will be broadcast on tv aswell as other platforms.

Brilliant! I will check it out tonight!