The Public and Modern Day Mental Health: Theory, Practice and Reality

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Not a single day passes in today’s world, without hearing or reading about some new case of mental health developed by a celebrity and how that person has begun their intensive treatment at a prestigious and expensive clinic somewhere to clean their act. In such an environment of constant regression regarding an extremely sensitive issue for all human beings, one cannot help but wonder about the new developments in the field of mental health and how they should be understood and implemented by the general public. Should people with mental issues receive education at universities or colleges and help themselves? Should they attend sessions with qualified mental health professionals at accredited clinics such as Naya Clinics the new big solution to help such individuals at the comfort of their homes or offices? Regardless of the answer or the type of preference one might have for receiving psychological assistance, it has become rather obvious in the recent years that the future of the modern world and its residents will demand further progress in the field of psychological treatment to ensure a safer and healthier future for all.

Nicole Pajer for the Huffington Post provides a helpful list of things people should know regarding the process of finding a therapist as many patients complain about wrong choices and programs. According to the author, it is important to “shop around”, meaning that before reaching a final verdict on the desired therapist, the patient should investigate into possibilities to be able to locate and discover the right expert for the right type of issue. Therapy style is an extremely important concept in this regard also, because different therapists have different approaches and they do not fit every complaint or symptom while therapists are also not likely to alter their styles for individual cases. Similarly, the budget for such treatment is also quite important in the sense that not only some types of treatment are quite expensive but also they might not be covered by the patient’s insurance plan. Pajer adds that finding and utilizing local assistance should be preferred while having a prior “game plan”, a strategy about the possibilities awaiting one’s self, is also not a good idea. Honesty is an integral element in the given scenario, both for the patient and the therapist, while having prior knowledge about the amount of effort it will take to show progress is always a good idea as well. Demanding the therapist to be trustworthy is a natural expectation that can be established by a straightforward therapy structure that places the patient and the therapist at close proximity from one another, focusing on problems and remedies directly. Feeling worse in the given context is also a possibility and for such individuals, the capability to move on is important to secure a healthier mental state of being in the future. When considering all these realities as a single guideline for progress through a constructive perspective, it is seen that mental health demands gradual and structural comprehension by both the patient and the therapist, which means that both time and patience are important factors.

Alice G. Walton for Forbes magazine investigates into the issue through the paradigm of “therapy versus medication” to support the idea that therapy always works better and more efficiently than medication. According to the author, the already popular debate keeps on spawning new results every day, while the scale of justice and righteousness seem to be tilting towards therapy in a rather obvious manner. Walton quotes psychologist Shannon Kolakowski with her idea that having the patient undergo therapy prior to medication is a great recommendation for all patients as in such a case scenario the individual gains confidence in themselves to show progress by understanding the problem at hand. Once the stigma associated with therapy is eradicated, the patient then moves onto the next stage of testing and experimentation to find out information about the root causes of the problem to come up with evidence-based treatment options. Walton then looks at the application of therapy in the cases of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in Children, Insomnia and Depression to reveal how therapy has created significant progress in these fields of behavioral psychology in the recent years. Regarding the first area, the shortcomings of medication such as Ritalin and Adderall have not only failed to treat the existing patients but actually increased the number of such patients drastically. As a result, therapy for such children and their families became a plausible option with several clinics and psychiatrists directly referring such cases to therapy rather than medication, showing the new inclination in the world of psychiatry towards ADD in children. Regarding the second area, the author takes note of the fact that pursuing therapy based programs for insomnia is a more scientifically supported option. Given the issue of side effects with sleep medication, such programs are a lot safer and more secure for patients, with medication only surfacing as a secondary method in the long run. As for the final area, Walton takes note of the high levels of depression observed in younger individuals between the ages of 12 and 18 for which antidepressants have so far proven to be inadequate for a variety of reasons. Although there exist some cases which directly demand medication for treatment, therapy for the treatment of depression is also a significant possibility with an array of professionals attesting to the relevance and functionality of this approach.

Valerie Strauss for the Washington Post takes a strictly local stance on the issue to reflect on her findings regarding mental health issues in American public schools to initially infer that neither the public nor the American state truly care for the issue to take notice of the emergent problems. The author begins her article by referring to a high school shooting in Florida where a gunman killed 17 people with a military-style assault rifle, which has revealed the unfortunate yet true reality that most schools in the district do not have sound mental health programs with adequate personnel or resources. Strauss takes note of shocking statistics such as the number of psychologists and counselors per a certain amount of students in US public schools with the optimal/desired numbers being 1 in 500 and 1 in 250. Unfortunately, in reality, in such schools in America, only 1 psychologist exists for every 1381 students and 1 counselor exists for every 500 students. A similar scenario exists for school-based nurses with the optimal ratio being 1 to 750 while in reality, only 39% of private and public American schools have such personnel, while a comprehensive project of such nature would require an annual budget increment of $79 million to be fully realized. Considering these given statistics, it is understood that the American education system does not possess the necessary resources or focus to tackle mental health related issues in students and as a result, 80% of students between the ages of 6 and 17 do not receive a proper form of psychological diagnosis or treatment. What is more concerning is that such issues are only noticed and targeted until after a crisis breaks out which has so far made it a nightmare for numerous schools and their students/teachers to even exist in such facilities with a constant fear of a shooting, a suicide or some related event of such extreme nature. According to the author, the only proper way to deal with this issue is to raise awareness among the general public to initiate governmental policy change to increase funding for mental health procedures and facilities, while also continuing a strict policy on school security and surveillance.