A Better Mental Health for All

Jasraj S, Viknesh N


Psychiatric services have progressed well throughout history, marked by a shift from heavily inpatient asylums to outpatient management via deinstitutionalization, and advances in psychopharmacology. An overview of important themes is discussed at public mental health level. Firstly, differences between sexes are touched upon from theoretical and societal perspectives. Next, among the disabled, the phenomenon of diagnostic overshadowing, attributing apparent mental health problems to learning disability, contributes to their overall poorer quality of life. Mental health at both extremes of age is another important theme, whereby dementia and depression are keenly observed in the older age group, while maternal risk factors and parenting play a role in the mental well-being of the younger age group. Fourthly, inequalities, stigma and discrimination, are rife among people living with mental illness, and thereby detrimental in their road to recovery. Deinstitutionalization is explained as being more than just downsizing the inpatient load, gaining prominence with the emergence of community psychiatry services, and found to be helpful in overcoming stigma. Demographically, it was demonstrated that developing countries, as opposed to developed countries, have advantages in their approaches to psychiatric services, including better integration of people living with mental illness into society. Lastly, the psychological well-being of mental health workers should not be discounted, with measures such as stress management and resilience training proving to be key in combating burnout.

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Psychiatric Services; Mental Health; Public Mental Health; Stigma; Deinstitutionalization

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