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A Mental Health Initiative Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

This essay focuses on the Crewkerne Specialist Day Care Centre, a mental health initiative. It assesses the initiative's aims, its benefit to well-being and its contribution to public health. It also discusses why the initiative was required, the service users' needs and what contributed to them. The essay looks at a government policy which may have influenced the centre's development, who is involved, and the extent to which it makes use of multi-agency and partnership working.
The centre welcomes older clients suffering mostly from forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's. It aims to allow clients a better quality of life and make them feel like part of the community for longer (Project ...view middle of the document...

The centre, located in a remote area, provides clients with easy access to the support and care they need. Population estimates of men aged 65 or over, and women aged 60 or over, are 21.8% in the South West compared to 18.7% in the United Kingdom (National Statistics, 2008). Evans' (2003) survey of the mental health in the elderly shows that 13% of men and 13% of women aged 60-64 years in Great Britain have a mental disorder. However, statistics fall with age from this point, suggesting that interventions by mental health initiatives are often successful in treating mental illnesses. Standard Seven of the National Service Framework (NSF) for older people states that access must be available to services to ensure effective treatment and support for service users and their families (Department of Health (DH), 2001). It then specifies that services should be community-orientated and so supports the development of the centre.
Many service users lack the ability to cope with activities such as cooking and eating, so support is needed to manage these. They often suffer from memory loss and need monitoring regularly. Support is also given to family members to help them cope with the stresses that arise from their relative's illness (Project manager, 2008). A range of socio-economic factors contribute to these needs; for example, traumatic experiences (Service user, 2008). More common factors include lack of education, small income and poor housing and working conditions - Stephens (1998, cited in Tudor, 2004) identifies the determinants of mental health as demographic characteristics (age, household type), social conditions, social status (income, education) and working conditions.
'Our Health, Our Care, Our Say...' (DH, 2006) features three main themes to enhance community based care - putting people more in control of their healthcare, enabling and supporting health, independence and well-being, and rapid and convenient access to high-quality, cost-effective care. The centre is in keeping with this policy, as clients can choose when to attend and may self-refer (Project manager, 2008). More services will be delivered in settings closer to home, so people have more choice over their health care, and year on year primary and community care will rise (DH, 2006). The focus on primary care ("health care for individuals and families in the community" (Martin, 2004 p. 389)) rather than secondary care ("health care provided by medical specialists or hospital staff" (Martin, 2004 p. 434)) is expressed in modern-day nursing practice. One theme concerning modern-day nursing in the DH (2008) 'Framing the Nursing and Midwifery Contribution' report is that carers, advocates and managers in care settings work in partnership. The report visualises giving people more say in their own healthcare, promoting healthy lives and tackling inequalities (DH, 2008). The initiative reflects modern-day nursing by steering care towards promoting health (by providing physical,...

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