Discussion: Personal Reflections

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VULNERABLE POPULATION

Summary of the interview with the professional Summary of the interview with the member of the vulnerable population

I interviewed Mr. Johnson, CEO of the South African Federation for Mental health agency, to know more about mental health among young adults. He illustrated that this is a non-profit organization that works to manage, monitor, and promote services for people with intellectual disabilities, psychosocial disabilities, and mental health issues. He stated that the mission of this organization is to actively cooperate with the community to attain the best possible level of mental health for everyone. The main reason for coming up with this organization was that people with psychosocial and intellectual impairments themselves have not successfully promoted their rights or advocated on public forums for their needs to be met. They are socially isolated and marginalized as long as there is no significant national self-advocacy movement. Human rights breaches’ unchecked and overlooked nature leads to uneven distribution of resources and protection. These circumstances directly impact disabled people’s material and lived realities.

He stated that he has been passionately working with people suffering from mental health for more than fifteen years in different capacities. He has worked in various mental health institutions in South Africa. He therefore has vast experience in this field. I was surprised to find that young people with mental illness are more likely to have family problems. Stress, melancholy, and anxiety may wreak havoc on relationships, causing misunderstandings and fights. This is simply because the sickness may be understood by some family members, while others may still be unaware. Others who embrace the reality realize that they must defend the sick person from those who do not and criticize and degrade the ill person for inappropriate conduct and lack of accomplishment. This creates friction in the family and the loss of meaningful ties with those who do not support the mentally sick person. He highlighted that even though mental health issues affect a large percentage of young people, research suggests that they seldom seek professional care for these issues. An essential first step in promoting early access to mental health services and enhancing psychological well-being is identifying the obstacles that prevent people from seeking treatment. Young people suffering from mental health issues may find it difficult to get the support they need from loved ones. Young people may be hesitant to seek assistance because of stigma and unfavorable beliefs about mental health and help-seeking. Mental health among young people may be improved by increasing public knowledge of the services and resources available and screening for psychological distress in primary care.

The personal significance of these interviews—How have they affected you as a person?

Interviewing these young people has changed me as a person because I now have a deeper awareness of the difficulties they face due to their struggles with mental illness. I’ve also learned how crucial it is for this demographic to have assistance and follow-up treatment. Because of this professional’s guidance, I’ve come to see how important it is to treat people with disabilities with decency and respect. This is especially because discrimination is commonly a side effect of mental illness. Particularly young people who already encounter prejudice and discrimination bear the challenges of mental illness twofold. They are subjected to more pressures, expectations, and obstacles than their contemporaries from a generation earlier. Low educational attainment, drug misuse, violent behavior, infertility, and other sexually transmitted diseases are linked to young people’s poor mental health (Hadebe, & Ramukumba, 2020).

Professional significance of these interviews—how have they affected you as a nurse?

As a nurse, these interviews have enriched my understanding of the mental health issues faced by young people and the therapeutic options available to them. In addition, they have made me more conscious of the need to support and guide patients as they make their way back to health and well-being. As a nurse, this individual has influenced my practice because he has taught me how better to fulfill the specific requirements of this particular clientele. As a nurse, I learned that students benefit from having someone familiar and available to them who can provide emotional support as and when they need it. It is noteworthy that families (and extended families) have been actively involved (Mulfinger, et al., 2019). Mental health nurses are being considered for this position, which should be available to these young people. I also learned the importance of patient-centered care and involving the family members. Patients with mental health issues should have their families included in psychotherapy to raise awareness, get support from loved ones and build resilience. Mental health programs delivered in the community context may help people integrate into their surroundings and develop a stronger sense of self-sufficiency.

Implications for nursing related to this population group—How can nursing impact this population’s physiological, psychological, sociocultural, developmental, and/or spiritual health.

 

Mental health issues in young people may have a significant impact on nursing. As a result, nurses must be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of mental health issues in young people in order to give the best possible care. People’s physical, mental, social, and spiritual health may be affected by the mental health of adolescents and young adults. Physical symptoms such as discomfort, numbness, and other so-called “physical” symptoms might arise due to poor mental health in young people. As a result, young people’s mental health might have a detrimental effect on their social and cultural interactions (Mulfinger, et al., 2019). It may cause people to become socially isolated and harm connections within families and communities. Physical, cognitive, and social development may be hampered by poor mental health in young people. Finally, a person’s spiritual well-being might be harmed if their mental health deteriorates, questioning their ability to connect with a higher being.

There are several methods by which nurses may improve the health of those who struggle with mental health issues. The first and the most important one is offering education to the families about how they can handle these people and showing them the importance of social support. A lack of social support may have a negative impact on a person’s physical and mental well-being, and this has been widely documented. Maintaining excellent physical and mental health requires a strong social network. Neurobiological systems associated with mental instability have also been linked to hazards to social connectivity such as rejection and loneliness (Adams, et al., 2020). Resilient individuals’ friends and family also showed tolerance, compassion, understanding, and empathy.

Psychiatric nurses should engage the family of their patients in psychotherapy in order to raise awareness, get support from loved ones, and strengthen their own personal resilience. Those in need of mental healthcare should be helped to integrate into their local communities and develop resiliency with the help of community-based programs for mental health. Further study is needed to examine the possibility of adding skills that promote adaptation, social support, and networking amongst mental healthcare consumers to enhance resilience. They may also aid those struggling with mental health issues by providing support and services—advocate for policy reforms to lessen the detrimental effect of mental problems on society.

 

References

Adams, M., Sionean, C., Broz, D., Lewis, R., & Wejnert, C. (2020). Serious mental illness among young people who inject drugs: an assessment of injection risks and healthcare use. The Journal of Infectious Diseases222(Supplement_5), S401-S409.

Hadebe, N. K. F., & Ramukumba, T. S. (2020). Resilience and social support of young adults living with mental illness in the city of Tshwane, Gauteng province, South Africa. curationis43(1), 1-7.

Mulfinger, N., Rüsch, N., Bayha, P., Müller, S., Böge, I., Sakar, V., & Krumm, S. (2019). Secrecy versus disclosure of mental illness among adolescents: II. The perspective of relevant stakeholders. Journal of Mental Health28(3), 304-311.

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