Emerging Ideas to Innovate Mental Health Awareness

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by Nadia Mushtaq Nadia Mushtaq (New)

Specializes in RN, RM, BScN, MScN student. Has 9 years experience.

Mental Health awareness is teamwork. Nurses are working day and night to keep serving humanity. It requires efforts from each and everyone in this nation to at least make it familiar that Mental Health is as important as Physical Health. To seek mental health is not something wrong, but to keep you and your family healthy as defined by World Health Organization WHO.

Mental health is as important as physical health

Emerging Ideas to Innovate Mental Health Awareness

The World Health Organization WHO states that Health is a condition comprised of complete well-being of Physical, Mental and Social without the lack of illness or weakness. Commonly used phrase is Health is Wealth. Seeking help in regards to physical Health is very common among the general population, but seeking help for mental health is considered as weird. Going to a psychologist or psychiatrist is considered as mad by laymen. The eye-opening figure of mental health problems is significant in Pakistan. This is not what only we observe today, but it happens for centuries that mental health remains neglected. It considered under the umbrella of magical powers and witchcraft. Pakistan is considered a third-world country having a population of 200 million people approximately; having the burden of disease is stressful. In that disease burden, Mental Health is on top. So, it is important to see the indispensable of Mental Health among people. Let’s start with me and you, “the readers,” to highlight it as a major concern.

Why Seek Mental Health?

The human body is made up of emotions, hormones and feelings. We are considered a complicated machine in society, and each individual is different from others. The way a person thinks, feels, and perceives is totally different from others. One of the reasons is the coping mechanism to manage stress is unique for each individual. In society, it is visible how the young population are doing unsafe stunts on road with motorcycles as a source of fun with friends, use of substance abuse, anger management, and so on. Then, Suicide rates are also up in Pakistan especially among youngsters. To keep the nation united and strong, it is vital to give coverage to Mental Health.

Signs a Person Needs to Seek Help

  • Increase or decrease in eating or sleeping pattern
  • Staying away from people and habitual tasks
  • Feeling low or lack of energy
  • Having Unexplained discomforts
  • Feeling desperate and deserted
  • Use of Substance abuse
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Ideas of self-harm or others to harm
  • Remains confused and diminished memories
  • Frequent changes in mood
  • Uncontrolled continuous thought cause problem to sleep
  • Changes in sensation and get delusions
  • Unable to perform daily livings like; eating, dressing, etc.

Ways to Achieve Good Mental Health

M = Meditation

Meditation is a practice where a person intentionally takes out time from the busy schedule and focuses on something. It provides peace of mind and helps to stay away from problems, at least sometimes. It helps to relax the mind from different uncontrolled thoughts. This is one of the oldest practices; relaxation and religious practices to connect themselves with God. It requires a person to sit or to stay in a calm environment and, with closed eyes, think of something which builds favorable a thought.

E = Exercise

Exercise is the physical activity that is done to keep the body and mind fit. It helps to keep our body functioning properly by circulating enough blood supply to all parts of the body like the Brain, Heart, Kidney, Lungs, and so on. Each vital organ of the body has a different task to help us stay mentally fit by means of normalizing hormones in the body. Exercise helps to maintain our healthy lifestyle. It includes Stretch-Out, Walk, Running, Aerobics etc.

N = Nutrition

Balance nutrition remains basic for healthy living. As the human body is deliberated as a multifarious system so it has to take a diet that must carry Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Multivitamins, and Minerals. These days, the trend of unhealthy food is common, which has a direct impact on the human body and illnesses. The proper amount of nutrition is important to modify lifestyle and stay away from diseases. Similarly, having at least 10-12 glasses of water daily keeps cells of the body, especially the brain, active.

T = Getting Enough Rest

Rest is the time to get a break from physical activities. It relaxes the mind and body for some time. If a person is having continuous work on electronic devices or anything which requires attention, it is recommended to rest. You can close your eyes for some time and, if possible, put your head down on a table. It will prevent stress on the neck and head. By the same token, it helps to refresh the thinking mind.

A = Always Smile

"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection," said Thomas Paine. A smile is the only thing that can be spread among others without any cost. It keeps the face lively by stretching all muscles of the face. It is an important thing but we usually forget. Wear a smile all day because every person is suffering from stress. Your smile can help them to change their mood and make them feel lighter. Therefore, a smile has a dual function that is on you as well as on others.

L = Live in the Present

Life is a precious gift from God and we must live it fully. The majority of the part of life goes with the stress and worry about the past and future whereas, the present moment we don’t enjoy. The power of now can transform your thinking. The results? "More joy, right now," said Oprah Winfrey. The present moment is comprised of lots of energy and must be delighted in.

H = Happiness

Steve Maraboli said, “Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.” Happiness is the gesture of saying thank you to God for everything. It is an acknowledgment. If a person remains happy with whatever they have in the present, it has a great impact on the future. This gives peace of mind and helps to get a solution with the help of God. It connects a person with nature, and in this way, the problem which the person has is not limited to that person but connects with nature and obviously gets a solution.

E = Enlightened Relationships

To generate healthy relationships with others, always work as a motivation to face or deal with problems. As we know problems are part of light. It occurs every day, every time around the world. To deal with problems, society plays a vital role in continuing the sharing and caring process. Enlightened relationships keep the inner and outer environment of the human body hale and hearty.

A = Acceptance

This world is not permanent as everything has some end. Similarly, events and incidences or scenarios are also not permanent. It is good to accept uncertainty; it happens; move ahead, although it is difficult. Remaining in the past or sticking with the incident will not allow a person to enjoy the present. Denial from reality will not give any benefits and also shrunken mental health.

L = Love

“Only from the heart can you touch the sky,” was said by Rumi. If we look around our surroundings, we can see everywhere is love. Plants and birds are in love with each other. Similarly, our whole Eco-system is also considered as falling in love with each other to sustain life. Love also happens in between souls. Devine love has no end, and everything present in this world belongs to the divine. In this way, we can all fall in love with each other. The sense of love gives us motivation to gain reconciliation.

T = Transform the Thinking

Today, we can do many things as a source of motivation. Like art work, craft work, sand work, and so on. Doing hobbies or spending time on something recreational can also help to transform thinking. Reading, writing, singing, poetry writing, dancing, swimming, and drawing ... all are recreational activities. It is better to use all sensory parts of the body to give soothing effects on the mind and body.

H = Habits

Good habits which impact health positively are essential. It includes physical activity as well as diet. These give dimensions to seek help. Unhealthy habits may cause damage to the body both physically and mentally. Healthy habits gives meaning to our daily living. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going”, said jim Rohn.

 

Nadia Mushtaq, MSc Nursing Student, Aga Khan University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Karachi, Pakistan

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11 Comment(s)

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 4 Articles; 4,573 Posts

This is a nice article but falls short as it offers no plan for outreach to persons with chronic mental ilness.

HiddenAngels

HiddenAngels

Has 8 years experience. 546 Posts

Great article! Totally agree.  Mental health is just as important if not more important than physical health as it is often the driving force behind a lot of physical decline. 

There should also be mental health hospitals, designated health care organizations, and I could go on with disciplines and other entities that should have their main focus on society's mental health crisis, separate from traditional physical health hospitals.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 4 Articles; 4,573 Posts

1 hour ago, HiddenAngels said:

Great article! Totally agree.  Mental health is just as important if not more important than physical health as it is often the driving force behind a lot of physical decline. 

There should also be mental health hospitals, designated health care organizations, and I could go on with disciplines and other entities that should have their main focus on society's mental health crisis, separate from traditional physical health hospitals.

Mental health facilities, hospitals and clinics do exhist. But even in crises (United States) most insurers even medicare and medicaide only cover about three days worth of treatment. 

HiddenAngels

HiddenAngels

Has 8 years experience. 546 Posts

2 hours ago, hppygr8ful said:

Mental health facilities, hospitals and clinics do exhist. But even in crises (United States) most insurers even medicare and medicaide only cover about three days worth of treatment. 

hmm, I see.  Do these facilities have SW, Case Mgrs, ppl for housing, addiction counselors, psychologists and psychiatrist that do daily rounds like Attendings and Residents in hospitals do?

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 4 Articles; 4,573 Posts

47 minutes ago, HiddenAngels said:

hmm, I see.  Do these facilities have SW, Case Mgrs, ppl for housing, addiction counselors, psychologists and psychiatrist that do daily rounds like Attendings and Residents in hospitals do?

They do all those things social workers and case managers try as much as possible to connect patients with out patient services. Housing assistance in a joke as most providers of housing are for profit and want to be assigned as payer for any Medicare/Medicaid monies. Most smaller psych hospitals have psychiatrists who make daily rounds but only large teaching hospitals have interns or residents but since most smaller hospitals are for profit services to the mentally I’ll poor are severely limited

HiddenAngels

HiddenAngels

Has 8 years experience. 546 Posts

Yea sounds like not enough to me. Hence the mental health crisis we’re in.

nursej22, MSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 37 years experience. 2,597 Posts

Just as in physical health, there is a severe lack of providers. Someone close to me has been searching for a therapist for 6 months. She has established care twice, only to be told that the practice is overloaded and she would be put on a waiting list.

I myself have sought help for anxiety and panic attacks at health care visits: the first one through EAP had to be pressured to take me on because I was told they weren't accepting new patients. At the first meeting he wanted to concentrate on my marriage. The second therapist one focused on getting paid up front for each visit and thought I needed to imagine my ideal visit. When I told her both these actions were triggering, she said that was her system. The third one determined after 3 visits that she couldn't help and referred me to her colleague that had some questionable methods I wasn't comfortable with. 

No Stars In My Eyes

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience. 3,313 Posts

It would seem that Mental Health Awareness is not the problem. The need is for more options for helping people to get through their difficulties. I don't know exactly what those "more options" might be, but there should be MORE help, not less; and restrictive insurance coverage doesn't help a bit!

toomuchbaloney

toomuchbaloney

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice. Has 43 years experience. 8,940 Posts

https://www.mhanational.org/issues/2021/mental-health-america-access-care-data#four

Our health system just doesn't see a way to make a profit from mental health care so the care is not widely available. 

Roughly 10% of Americans with mental health illness have no health insurance, further complicating access to care. 

Quote

Almost a quarter (23.6%) of all adults with a mental illness reported that they were not able to receive the treatment they needed.  This number has not declined since 2011.

Individuals seeking treatment but still not receiving needed services face the same barriers that contribute to the number of individuals not receiving treatment:

No insurance or limited coverage of services.

Shortfall in psychiatrists, and an overall undersized mental health workforce.

Lack of available treatment types (inpatient treatment, individual therapy, intensive community services).

Disconnect between primary care systems and behavioral health systems.

Insufficient finances to cover costs ñ including copays, uncovered treatment types, or when providers do not take insurance.

The state prevalence of adults with AMI reporting unmet treatment needs ranges from 12% in Hawaii to 31.6% in Kansas.

We need single payer health care that covers our vision, hearing, teeth and mental state... we need to treat our heads with the rest of our bodies. Education and care will go far...

HiddenAngels

HiddenAngels

Has 8 years experience. 546 Posts

16 hours ago, No Stars In My Eyes said:

It would seem that Mental Health Awareness is not the problem. The need is for more options for helping people to get through their difficulties. I don't know exactly what those "more options" might be, but there should be MORE help, not less; and restrictive insurance coverage doesn't help a bit!

I wholeheartedly agree! I posted elsewhere concerning the challenges that we are facing today. I believe they are multifaceted mental health included but we have some serious social and economic issues that seem to be driving people wild. It’s almost as if no one cares.