Systemic Barriers To Mental Health Care Case Study

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5. Addressing Barriers to Effective Treatment

Addressing barriers to proper treatment at an individual level will require an emphasis on educating the public on mental health issues – for example, on the harms of delaying treatment, on the accessibility to mental health resources, as well as to the emergency and community support facilities. To address systemic barriers that exist at the levels of government and health care system, the following policy interventions have been advanced to deal with the treatment gap problem: (i) enact appropriate legislations to promote and protect mental health;
(ii) develop and provide comprehensive, integrated, and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings (WHO 2013);
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Interventions aimed at prevention or early treatment need to focus on youth (Kessler et al 2009). The study by Wang et al(2005) about USA, shows that failure to make prompt initial treatment contact is a pervasive aspect of unmet need for mental health care in the United States. In case of children and adolescents, data collected in a number of community epidemiological surveys have consistently found that many people wait more than a decade after first onset of a mental disorder before seeking treatment. These people often present with highly comorbid conditions that might have been easier to treat if they had sought treatment earlier in the course of illness (Kessler et al 2007). Similarly, aaccording to ‘The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (2006)’ in Canada, the interventions to speed initial treatment contact are likely to reduce the burdens and hazards of untreated mental disorder. The above findings support the view taken by WHO (2004) that a new focus on development and evaluation of secondary prevention programs for the early treatment of mild cases is needed to guide rationalization of treatment resource …show more content…
This finding points to the need for a global initiative aimed at increasing mental health literacy to change the beliefs about mental health that hinder individuals from recognizing and seeking treatment for their illness (Jorm, 2000). Mental health literacy is particularly important during adolescence and early adulthood, since this is the peak period for the onset of mental disorders. Mental health literacy would include a set of interconnected components: the ability to recognize disorders in order to facilitate help seeking; knowledge of professional help and treatments available; knowledge of effective self-help strategies; knowledge and skills to give first aid and support to others; and knowledge of how to prevent mental disorders (Simmons and Jorm 2011). In Jorm’s (2000) view, if the public 's mental health literacy is not improved, this may hinder public acceptance of evidence-based mental health care. Mental health literacy would foster and encourage greater understanding of mental illness and work to remove the stigma that often attaches to such illness, which might prevent those in need from seeking help. In the United States, for example, many members of the public reported an unwillingness to seek

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