Policy Analysis Paper: Mental Health
December 2nd, 2014
This paper will discuss the necessity for social policy change in regards to the mental health system (or lack thereof) within the United States as well as internationally. The need for reform is tantamount in order for marginalized groups with mental disabilities to function well-beyond their capacities. An analysis of policy is needed to better understand the challenges that face current social workers and mental health professionals at this time. Therefore, this paper will discuss eight articles that pertain to the social work school of thought, and will be utilized to a great degree in making an argument for social reform.
The peer-reviewed, scholarly articles are presented and discussed to frame a basic foundation on what needs to be done, and if these changes are feasible in nature to our society. Since the topic is on Mental Health Policy, it is important to note any biases or hesitations that a social worker may have towards intellectual and mentally handicapped persons, and view this problem with an open mind free from negative beliefs.
Looking at this in the broad sense, this is not just a financial problem, nor a personal problem, but rather, this is a societal problem. There are many different ways in which mental health disorders can be attributed to. Crime, drug addiction, and many other factors are linked to some mental health issues. Depression, which affects millions worldwide can be treated through cognitive behavioral therapy. The best way to treat this problem would be prevention, and that is something that the United States, and the world has been lacking for quite some time. It is important to discuss this issue and provide long-term answers now, lest we face more financial burden and social burdens due to our own ineptitude. Literature Review:
The first article that will be discussed for this analysis is titled Mental Health and Poverty in the Inner City. This piece of literature examines the correlation between the rise in urbanization and mental health problems (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 148, 2013). It is a fact that the number of people who live in urban populations steadily increased within the millennium and is projected to go up in the next decade (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 148, 2013). This article provides evidence linking the rise of the urban population to the growing number of mental health disorders within it.
Living in a densely populated area can bring about many factors that can stimulate mental health problems. Noise, pollution, and lack of adequate green space are some of the problems that individuals face within cities (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 148, 2013). It is no wonder that mental health is of vital importance to the urban population, particularly the urban poor. Poverty is a strong characteristic of city life, and thus, it is necessary to see if there is causation between city-life and mental instabilities (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 148, 2013).
The article argues that the relationship between an urban environment and mental health problems can be described as cyclical and non-linear (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 148, 2013). The cycle is reinforced through poverty and this can nurture mental illness if not properly taken care of. The authors challenge current mental health policy and advocate for a system that specializes in prevention and treatment across all populations (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 148, 2013).
Crime, substance abuse, and other mechanisms that originate from urban environments can have a bi-directional relationship in regards to mental health and urbanization (Anakwenze & Zuberi, 148, 2013). They reinforce each other, causing a strong hold around the community. It is necessary for a new mental health policy to advocate for interventions within individuals and institutions in order to promote such an improvement in urban life. The many...
References: Allen, N., & Jackson, H. (n.d.). What kind of evidence do we need for evidence-based mental health policy? The case of the Better Access initiative. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 696-699.
Anakwenze, U., & Zuberi, D. (2013). Mental Health and Poverty in the Inner City. Health & Social Work, 147-157.
Crociata, A., Agovino, M., & Sacco, P. (2013). Cultural Access and Mental Health: An Exploratory Study. Soc Indic Res, (118), 219-233.
Evans, E., Howlett, S., Kremser, T., Simpson, J., Kayess, R., & Trollor, J. (n.d.). Service development for intellectual disability mental health: A human rights approach. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 1098-1109.
Hebert, A. (2009). Mental Health Parity: Moving Closer to an Effective National Policy. Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 63(2), 28-31.
Jenkins, R., Baingana, F., Ahmad, R., McDaid, D., & Atun, R. (2011). International and national policy challenges in mental health. Mental Health in Family Medicine, 8(2), 101-114.
Miller, B., Levey, S., Payne-Murphy, J., & Kwan, B. (2014). Outlining the Scope of Behavioral Health Practice in Integrated Primary Care: Dispelling the Myth of the One-Trick Mental Health Pony. Families, Systems, and Health, 32(3), 338-343.
Patel, V., Belkin, G., Chockalingam, A., Cooper, J., Saxena, S., & Unützer, J. (n.d.). Grand Challenges: Integrating Mental Health Services into Priority Health Care Platforms. PLoS Medicine, E1001448-E1001448.
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