In the light of the chosen topic and pertaining to the scope of discussion, it is important to understand and have a brief overview about the history of mental disorder and how it was perceived and treated in the ancient times. Lack of rational outlook and necessary medical developments often rendered mental disorders a paranormal grounding. The ancients perceived any kind of insanity as supernatural possessions. There are a number of factual evidences and cases to support the inhuman treatment the mental patients were subjected. It was widely described as a religious or a supernatural anomaly among the ancients Greeks, Chinese, Egyptian, Indian and Roman (Repper & Carter, 2011). The 18th century healthcare units in America exhibited a negative attitude towards the treatment of the mentally distressed people, which consequentially led to the marginalisation of the mental patients in the society. They were often left in unhygienic confinements in the mental wards. It was only after the active initiative of Dorothea Dix in 1840s, it was brought to public attention those mentally ill-disposed patients needed a special care and appropriate government initiatives to improve the living condition of the mental patients in the hospitals (sahealth, 2015).
In fact, it was only at the turn of the 20th century that psychoanalysis, a scope conceptually developed and defined by the forefathers like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Jacques Lacan that the view of the medical domain in the treatment of the mental disorders widened. Psychoanalysis applied specific practises in the treatment of the mental anomalies. This technique was widely accepted and implemented in treatments, as opposed to the crude 19th century lobotomy and electroconvulsive therapy. The science of psychoanalysis believes in the power and the immense potential of the individual unconscious that can help one heal from within. Human mind, they believe, is the unlimited reservoir of emotional currents which needs to uncovered and controlled by individuals (Jon & Jerry, 2015).
However, the current scenario in the mental health sector had undergone a radical change in the landscape ever since the introduction of psychotherapy in term of psychoanalysis and community based health services. The community based mental health services believes in the shared efforts of the community in the treatment of the mentally impaired individuals. Community sympathy, love and adjustment play an instrumental role in such treatments. In fact, hospitalisation of the mental patients is opined as the ultimate alternative. It is imperative to note that modern science essentially segments the mental illnesses into various types. According to the biopsychosocial model, mental distresses are believed to be inherent
in one’s genetic basis and that problems are stimulated by external stressors. The social factors responsible for stimulating the negative impacts of the mental illnesses are equally important determinants in term of determining the mental health of an individual. Therefore, various social welfare schemes have been launched all round the world to cater to the mentally distressed patients and appropriate policies are being incorporated to counter the social-stress factors affecting an individual’s life in the global landscape (biomedcentral, 2017).
In this section, a key issue from the dedicated domains of study like political, economic and social issues, impacting on the field of mental health practice will be analysed. Accordingly, it was reported by the mental health service department in Australia that mental illness comes in various degrees in scopes and each of them requires different degree of treatments. A range of data collected from Australia has manifested an alarming situation in the mental health care sector of Australia. It has been noted that about 45% of the Australian population are victims of various mental disorders which range from anxiety, depression to other complicated situations. According to the 2010 March report (sahealth, 2015), it has been found that about 64,000 people suffer from psychotic illness are under institutional care. However, based on the 2015 August (sahealth, 2015), 560,000 children and adolescent were subjected to substance abuse disorders and other age-related, circumstantial anxiety.
It has been found that the Australian government is responsible for funding a substantial amount of 8.5 billion dollars per annum to aid the mental health sectors of the country such that the patients are catered with the necessary treatments. However, there are certain hindering factors which are faced by the country. For instance, the mental health treatments are comparatively costly and cannot be afforded by the people from the rural areas. There are several stimulating factors which are responsible for aggravating the stress elements which has been identified in terms of the employment issues, work related stress and dissatisfaction. Falling victim to the substance abuse at an early age causes a damaging effect on the children and the society. The recovery from these is time consuming and has morally degrading effects on the society. Consequently, they are often marginalised in the society and needs recognition as a part of social acceptance.
On the political front, it is important to note that Australia follows neo-liberalism which allows the dominance of competition and free market. On the constitutional front it is important to undertake sufficient measures to reduce unemployment, poverty, substance abuse and other such social anomalies. The National Competition Policy of the 1990s also manifests the neo-liberal system of Australia and has been instrumental in promoting various levels of social services such that the best of the services can be catered to the patients at an affordable price (Memiah Limited, 2017). However, the same system is responsible for transferring the mental health management sector through a shared community based services, support and love in encouraging the distressed individuals to return to the regular flow of life. Regular psychological counselling and other mental supports groups and session are provided to the distressed patient through the shared community based services. This has resulted in unwanted situations like; the socially withdrawn individuals are not getting the required medical attention and getting secluded from the mainstream of social life. In fact, the patients who are in urgent need of the medical attention or needs institutionalizing are left unidentified (Bates, Holton, & Hatala, 2012).
There are several theories which have been conceptualised around the mental health issues. However, the most inspiring and the dominant theory instrumental in the chosen field of study is the psychodynamic theory which is primarily determined by the individual’s experiences in life (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009). It mainly rests on the assumption that an individual behaviour is shaped by his/her past experiences and exposure to various ‘accidental events’, as Ronal Comer has rightly observed in his contention. It is important to note this theory was essentially theorised by Sigmund Freud. According to the Freudian contention, human personalities are shaped by three dynamic levels of ego: ego, superego and id ego. The id ego is responsible for shaping the instinctual framework of an indivisible, while; ego plays the instrumental role in shaping the personal values and ideals. While the super ego designs an individual’s ambition. When there is an anomaly in the harmonious functioning of these elements, it triggers off a series of personality anomalies in the individual. Later theorist like Jung and Alfred Adler extended upon the Freudian theory by diverging from his contention and developed upon the theory from a new perspective (nami, 2017). They the explored into the main idea of the Freudian theory and evolved the idea in a segmented and a categorical manner.
The psychodynamic technique of therapy involved several the methods as follows:
Free association, where the client reveals the innermost thought processes to the analysts and the same helps in uncovering the innermost operation of the human mind and helps the individual in realising the inherent potentials. While the therapist interpretation involves the therapist interpreting the dreams and the innermost thought processes of the patients though the random clues and his mental evaluation. This category of theory is most important in the treatment of the mental disorders. It helps the client in realising the innermost recesses of the mind. Accordingly, realising the work processes of the individual’s mind help them overcome the mental challenges which are being countered (Memiah Limited, 2017). Catharsis, on the other hand, plays an instrumental role in releasing the repressed thoughts and feelings of the depressed individual. It helps them in realising the root of the trouble and consequently, the individual is settled with the inner conflicts. While working through is an important segment of the psychodynamic theory. It requires the equal participation of the client and the therapist and they discuss the problem and ponder over the issue in an analytical and detailed manner such that a greater clarity is obtained over the issue (mhfa, 2017).
Therefore, it can be understood that in the light of the current context, the psychodynamic model of theory, helps in treating the individual behaviour through an analytical procedure. This method will prove the most effective in an age of increasing depression and substance abuse. This methodical treatment method will provide the mental space and freedom to the individual and help them realising their inherent talents which they can harness upon for the self-betterment and spread the similar awareness for the need of mental well-being (Bates, Holton, & Hatala, 2012).
The mental health policy at the national level helps in identifying the morbidity, disability as well as the morality issues. In order to implement health into the national policy, it is of prior importance to engage the important agencies and the stakeholders within the overall process which can be termed as shared ownership in terms of the vision and its implementation (Bates, Holton, & Hatala, 2012). The primary aim of mental health policies is to reduce the prevalence of mental disorder and along with that, take care of the associated mental disabilities like that of rehabilitation, promoting human rights among the human beings suffering from mental disabilities etc. In this perspective, it has been critically analysed by some authors like Repper & Carter (2011), that the Australian government should be concerned in reducing the organizational distress, disability and life-span problems of an individual.
The Australian government has made an approval on the implementation of National Practice standards for the Mental Health workforce 2013, which states that all the working professionals should be proficient enough in maintaining discipline-specific practice standards or the competency levels with the help of which the nursing professions, occupational therapy can be highly complimented. According to National Practice Standard 2013, the professional in the workplace should be liable in practising the discipline-specific practice standards.
Some of the important mental health policies that should be recognized in this regard are:
- Providing universal access to the individuals in terms of mental health care
- In terms of the workplace situation, it can be stated that the risk and the suicidal attempts among the patients can be avoided only if they can be provided with adequate assurances regarding the negative effects of these practice (Repper & Carter, 2011)
The studies highlight that the Australian Government has undertaken certain mental health reforms in order to cater to the needs of the health requirements of the patients which includes parents, children etc. The reforms have been conducted on certain mental illnesses like that of schizophrenia, multi-personality disorders etc. (sahealth, 2015). After conducting in depth research, it has been analysed that apart from the treatment in hospitals and other medical centres, the patients primarily need adequate attention from the respective families and from their loved ones which help them in healing significantly. These are some of the positive side-effects that has been analysed in the study (mhfa, 2017).
In this particular perspective, some of the social factors that play importance in the mental health are:
- Employment and mental health: It is highly needed in the workplace that the employees have been provided with the proper workplace management. It implies, that they should be provided with adequate amount of the work spaces and the first aid availability based on which they can be able to prove to be loyal towards the concerned organizations.
- It had been critically analysed by some of the authors like Jon & Jerry, (2015), in most of the caring institutions, the mental patients are not been treated with adequate care. It had been observed that in most of the institutions, they are treated like animals. For this reason, they suffered from insanities. From this , the negative aspects that can be inferred is in terms of the self-withdrawal of the individual that is the mental patient from different social associations , positivity etc. (Bates, Holton, & Hatala, 2012).
- Homelessness is another important social factor responsible behind the mental health of the patient. The homeless people suffer from different levels of anxieties, stresses, bipolar disorders etc. For this reason, they become drug addicted and also get addicted to the alcohols. Hence in this aspect, it can be stated that they should be nursed with proper care. Moreover the family members also should conduct open conversations with them in order to chalk out problems (Memiah Limited, 2017).
In the light of the context, it can be stated that the implementation of the mental health policies and the procedures might face different challenges. According to different arguments put forwarded by Bates, Holton, & Hatala, (2012), it had been critically stated that the mental ill is having certain negative points. In most of the cases especially in Australia, it had been observed that there are certain factors which are responsible in making an individual a mental patient (biomedcentral, 2017). Some of the factors, like lack of care, lack of concentration create transformative changes among the individuals which ultimately force them to act in abnormal manner (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009).
The current mental health policies like that of the creation of the mental health reforms as well as aware the target individuals regarding the negative aspects of committing suicide etc. It proved to be positive in some aspect especially for the people living in urban regions. However these policies do not affect the rural regions much. In most of the cases, it had been observed that the patients staying over there had been treated by the witchcrafts and not being admitted to the hospital for better treatment. It had been critically analysed that the governmental policy behind the settlement of the community based programmes do not prove to be valuable enough for people living in the rural areas and also for those who are homeless and orphans (nami, 2017). Therefore these are some of the weaknesses behind the undertaking of the governmental policies and the processes.
However, in other perspectives, it can be stated that there are not proper justifications regarding the service providers who are treating the patients through counselling. In many aspects, it can be critically analysed that the service providers in the counselling services are not specialized enough in dealing with the complex personality disorders of the patients. Therefore, in this aspect, the communal programmes and the policies will not benefit this particular section of the people. On the other hand, it had also been critically analysed by Repper & Carter, (2011), that the implementation of these communal policies and the programmes turns out to be costly by nature and hence these communal programmes and the policies undertaken by Australian government proves to be a failure in many aspects apart from the strong points (biomedcentral, 2017).
In addition to this , many authors have highlighted that there had occurred early intervention by the government in Australian communal policies in terms of mental health. It should be the prime responsibility of the government to look at the available resources in country to evaluate whether they are capable enough in meeting the different metal illness or not. Hence these are some of the necessary points that needed to be evaluated by the Australian government at the time of implementing the mental health policies and the procedures. (Bates, Holton, & Hatala, 2012)
Bates, R., Holton, I., & Hatala, J. (2012). A revised learning transfer system inventory: factorial replication and validation. Human Resource Development International, 15(5), 549-569.
biomedcentral, b. (2017). BMC Health Services Research . Retrieved 2017, from:
Commonwealth of Australia, C. o. (2009). National mental health policy 2008. Retrieved 2009, from:
Jon, G., & Jerry, T. (2015). Mental Health Policy and Practice. Retrieved 2015, from https://he.palgrave.com/page/detail/Mental-Health-Policy-and-Practice/?K=9781137025944
Memiah Limited, M. L. (2017). Social influences affecting mental health. Retrieved 2017, from http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/social-influence-stats.html
mhfa, m. (2017). Mental Health First Aid Australia. Retrieved 2017, from https://mhfa.com.au/
nami, n. (2017). Mental Health Medications. Retrieved from:
Repper, J., & Carter, T. (2011). A review of the literature on peer support in mental health services. Journal of Mental Health, 20(4), 392-411.
sahealth, s. (2015). South Australia’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy. Retrieved 2015, from
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