In the United States, mental health is one of the diseases with the highest numbers of patients. Based on the recent figure of 2014, it was determined that one in every four adults had some mental health disorder. Children are also not immune to the threats posed by illness as it was found out that one in every five children in the United States had a mental health complication ("| Healthy People 2020," n.d.). The most common disorder which was identified in the young children was the deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, it is worth noting that that sometimes both the adult and the children can suffer from more than one mental health illnesses ("Mental Health By the Numbers | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness," n.d.). According to the data from the healthy people.gov, approximately 20% of the children and adolescent in the United States are affected by mental health during their lifetime. The most common symptoms of the disorder include anxiety which starts to show at six years, behavior disorder which manifests at 11 years, mood changes, and substance abuse disorders that begins at 15 years (Mishara & Chagnon, 2011). The most common effect of mental disorder in children and adolescence is suicide where 15% of the high school students were found to have contemplated suicide, and 7% of these cases resulted into an actual attempt of taking away their own lives. In adults, it is estimated that 26% of Americans over the age of 18 years are living with mental health disorder per year with 46% of these cases spanning a lifetime. In adults, Alzheimer's disease is among the leading cause of mortality in the United States.
What are the causes of the disease?
Various factors have been linked to the onset of mental illness; these factors include gender, income level, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age and geographical location. There are some social conditions which have been found to cause the development of mental health complications, and they include family, unemployment, living conditions, community dynamics, work conditions and schooling environment (Rasic, Hajek, Alda, & Uher, 2014). Those factors have been linked with either a positive or negative influence on the development of mental health. Social statistics on the prevalence of mental health show that an estimated 26% of homeless adults have serious mental health complications. In the state jails and prisons, a significantly higher number of mental health conditions have been identified where approximately 20% of prisoners in states jails and 21% in local jails have had a recent history of mental health. 70% of the youths in the juvenile justice system have at least a mental health complication with 20% of them living with severe mental health illness. Statistics show that in the United States, over 20.2 million adults who have problems with drug and substance abuse, 50.5% had a co-occurring mental illness (Mishara & Chagnon, 2011). This high number confirms that drug use is a top contributor to mental health disease. Further research indicates that 1.1% of the people over the age of 18 years live with schizophrenia, 2.6% of the adults have bipolar disorder, and that 16 million people in America suffer from depression per year. The figure below shows the prevalence of mental health based on race and ethnicity ("Mental Health By the Numbers | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness," n.d.).
According to the data released by the center for disease control (CDC), the leading cause of mental health-related deaths in children aged 10-14 years is suicide, and it takes the second position as a cause of death for people aged 15-24 years. It is shocking that over 90% of children who commit suicide have a mental health condition.
Which are the two risk groups of mental illness?
Mental health can affect everyone regardless of their age, race, and ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender. However, children under the age of 18 years and drug users have been found to be more vulnerable than most groups of people. Based on the available statistics, 20% of the children and adolescents in the United States are affected by the mental disorder in their lifetime. According to the 2014 research in the united states by the center for disease control (CDC), there are approximately 14.72 million children with mental illness ("Mental Health By the Numbers | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness," n.d.). This data shows that out of the possible five children one of them has a mental illness. The most common psychological disorder in children and adolescents are the moods disorder, anxiety disorder, and behavior disorder.
The other group that faces a higher risk of mental disorder is the drug and substance use group. Mental illness is prevalent in the population that uses drugs and abuse substance. The relationship between drugs abuse and mental health is so strong that some scientists and scholars believe that drugs play a crucial role in the development of the mental illness. In the united states, approximately 8.9 million people have both drug addiction and mental health problem. Bearing in mind that the total population of drug and substance addicts in the united states stands at 24.6 million, it means that the percentage of drug users who have developed a mental illness is at 36.17 %. This further translates that approximately four in every ten people who are addicted to drugs and substance use have a mental problem ("| Healthy People 2020," n.d.). Compared to those who do not use drugs, the drug users are at 70% more chance of developing the illness as the result of their actions.
What are the possible interventions to address the problem of mental illness?
The following are the interventions necessary to address the challenges of mental health
Working with communities, workplace, and schools to deliver programs that improve the literacy on mental health and promote resilience (Mishara & Chagnon, 2011). The primary focus of this intervention is to target children, working class and people who are unemployed and educate them on how to deal with cases of mental health and how to be resilient when faced with such challenges
Implement prevention and intervention programs for young children and their families through collaborative efforts of mental health doctors, child and maternal services, schools and other organizations. The primary target of this intervention are the young children. By supporting these kids who have mental health problems will lessen the burden on the parents and the caregivers.
Expand the community's youth mental health service to incorporate primary health care, mental health care and alcohol and other drugs services. The targeted groups of this intervention are the youths and the drugs and substance abuse addicts. Other groups are the adults who have mental health problems and the families struggling with the issue of having their loved one have a mental condition (Mishara & Chagnon, 2011).
Provide education on mental health and suicide prevention to frontline workers and caregivers. This targets the people who work with mentally ill patients, and by educating them, it provides an opportunity for learning how to handle such patients.
Implementation of evidence-based and cost-effective models of intervention for psychosis in young people to provide broader national coverage ("| Healthy People 2020," n.d.). By targeting the young people, this intervention strategy will ensure that the effects of mental health are minimized over the life of the person.
Develop a tailored mental health response for highly vulnerable groups and people who have experienced physical, emotional and sexual abuse. This intervention will target children, youths, drug and substance addicts and old people who have been exposed to violence, abuse and trauma (Rasic, Hajek, Alda, & Uher, 2014).
What are the most effective interventions?
From the above-highlighted interventions, the most effective one would be intervention I, III and V. The advantages of each method are highlighted below
- Working with communities, workplace, and schools to deliver programs that improve the literacy on mental health and promote resilience has the following benefits. This method is easy to implement, effective and brings people together.
- Improved living conditions of patients and their families
- Promotes supportive and inclusive communities
- Better understanding and recognition of mental health problems and illness
- When the society comes together, there is less discrimination and stigmatization
Disadvantages include the following
- It takes time before notable changes can be realized
- Requires combined effort from all the stakeholders involved for the plan to succeed
Advantages of expanding the community's youth mental health service to incorporate primary health care, mental health care and alcohol and other drugs services. The reason why this method is more likely to yield good results its because it focuses on mental illness from a young age and combines several health services
- Ensures interventions start at an early age
- Reduces the chances of development of mental illness for the young children and adolescents
- Promotes quick recovery to the drugs and substance addicts
- Ensure close link between the youths, drug users and the caregivers
- Has the capacity to assist people with multiple mental problems
The disadvantages of the method are as follows
- Requires a lot of capital for the expansion and operation
- Requires close collaboration of youths and caregivers to achieve the desired results, and sometimes teenagers or drug abusers do admit having a problem.
Implementation of evidence-based and cost-effective models of intervention for psychosis in young people to provide broader national coverage has the following benefits ("| Healthy People 2020," n.d.).
- Minimizes the impact of mental health problems over the life of a person.
- Provides practical and accessible clinical interventions for the patients
- Reduces the cost to the family, the community, and the health systemDisadvantages of the intervention
- Sometimes implementation of the models might not have the same desired results as those obtained during the study.
What methods would I use in the application of the options highlighted?
In conclusion, the ways which I would use to implement the above intervention plan will be the following
- Use of psychotherapy- this is by engaging the patients in a talk therapy where they are made aware of their conditions and how to overcome it. The community and the family to the patients will have to go through the treatment (Mishara & Chagnon, 2011). The goal is to improve the well-being by addressing the problematic thoughts and emotions and learning how to cope
- Drug therapy- this is the use of medication to solve the problem of mental illness. Such drugs include mood-stabilizing drugs, anxiety drugs, and antidepressants. Drugs are part of the evidence-based treatment for the mentally ill patients.
- Expressive therapy- this is the use of artistic expressions and creative designs such as music, art, writing, and drama to facilitate recovery. This method involves the interaction of patients and the community in doing activities that they like and enjoys while reducing stress. Expressive therapy bridge the conscious and the unconscious mind (Rasic, Hajek, Alda, & Uher, 2014).
Mental Health By the Numbers | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers
Mishara, B. L., & Chagnon, F. (2011). Understanding the Relationship Between Mental Illness and Suicide and the Implications for Suicide Prevention. International Handbook of...
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