Post a thoughtful response to at least two (2) other colleagues’ initial postings. Responses to colleagues should be supportive and helpful (examples of an acceptable comment are: “This is interesting – in my practice, we treated or resolved (diagnosis or issue) with (x, y, z meds, theory, management principle) and according to the literature…” and add supportive reference. Avoid comments such as “I agree” or “good comment.”
Response posts: Minimum 100 words excluding references.
In the United States, mental health disorders are the number one cause of disability (Kaakinen, Coehlo, Steele, Tabacco, & Harmon Hanson, 2015). While some people may not even realize they have a mental health disorder, others seek treatment from professional healthcare workers. The decision to incorporate family members into the patient’s plan of care can be intimidating to some patients. It is imperative the family health nurse explains the pros and cons of having the family involved in the care of the patient. In this discussion board I will discuss the benefits and barriers to incorporating the family into care of a patient with mental health issues.
Many mental health patients are reluctant to tell their family they have a mental health condition. They may not tell their family because they are afraid of the stigma that can come with having a mental health condition (Fokuo et al., 2017). Because of this, many mental health patients suffer in silence and go about their days feeling lost and alone. Studies have shown that treatment is more effective if the patient’s family is involved in the treatment plan (Kaakinen et al., 2015). A mental health patient can utilize their family as a source of support and comfort. They may find it easier to talk to their family about the struggles they face. Having a sympathetic and supportive family can be beneficial to a person who is struggling with a mental condition.
Just as there are benefits to family members being involved in their care, there can also be drawbacks as well. Many people feel there is a stigma related to mental health disorders and it can be seen as taboo in some religions and cultures. Some people view mental illness as a weakness instead of an illness. Depending on the person with the mental health condition, there could be a shift in caregiver roles. If a parent is diagnosed with a mental health condition, the child may then become the caregiver when the parent cannot care for themselves. This can cause the child to feel like they have the heavy burden of caring for their parent when they can hardly care for themselves. My dad was never officially diagnosed with depression, but he suffered from situational depression and never told any of us until it was too late. He did not want us to worry about him and did not want to seem weak to his family. He took his own life because he was too proud to talk to his family and did not see any other way to deal with his depression. I was 18 when it happened and felt a lot of guilt at the time because I felt I should have seen it. It has been 28 years now and I no longer feel the guilt but as an 18 year old, the burden of what my dad did weighed heavily on me.
In conclusion, mental health conditions are real and can tear a family apart if not diagnosed and treated. Family members can be a great asset to the patient if the patient wants the family involved but there can also be barriers encountered along the way. Having a supportive family to rely on can lead to a more positive outcome for the patient and the family as a whole. Education and resources are two of the most important things a family health nurse can provide to a patient and their family.
Fokuo, J., Goldrick, V., Rossetti, J., Wahlstrom, C., Cocurek, C., Larson, J., & Corrigan, P. (2017). Decreasing the stigma of mental illness through a student-nurse mentoring program: A qualitative study. Community Mental Health Journal, 53(3), 257-265. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-016-0016-4
Kaakinen, J. R., Coehlo, D. P., Steele, R., Tabacco, A., & Harmon Hanson, S. M. (2015). Family health care nursing (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.
Family Care of Mental Health Patient
Mental Health involves the psychological and social wellbeing of people. As health care personnel, it is crucial to not only treat our patients physically, but also psychologically and spiritually. There is always a stigma associated with mentally ill people that usually discourages them from seeking treatment (Kaakinen, Coehlo, Steele, Tabbaco & Hanson, 2015). The purpose of this discussion is to point out the benefits and challenges to including family in the mental health care of the patient. In this discussion, my patient Jim is diagnosed with both bipolar and depression.
I worked as a mental health care nurse for the first year of my profession. I encountered Jim, a 25 year old male whose parents brought him to the facility as they were concerned that he was dealing with suicidal tendencies due to his depression. Jim had lost 10 pounds in the previous three months and had not shown up for work for one month. Jim’s workmates contacted his parents who admitted him to our psychiatric facility. The advantages to Jim’s family intervention was that they sought help for their son’s condition. The parents were involved in bringing food for Jim as he disliked hospital food and always gave him company when they came to visit him at the hospital. Jim’s parents were good at providing for Jim’s physical needs and always worked with health care personnel to ensure Jim got access to good medical care. The positive aspects of shared decision making include short hospital stays, greater treatment satisfaction and increases likelihood of adhering to medication regimen (Bradley & Green, 2018).
However, Jim’s parents also got involved in the decision-making process for their son’s health decisions. They did not think that their son was mentally fit to make medical decisions on his own. Jim was frustrated by his parents’ involvement thus hindering his medical progress. Jim’s parents were elderly and the care for their soon took a toll on them. They spent most of the time at the facility and barely had time to take care of their own needs. Most care givers for mentally ill patients usually experience burn out (Kaakinen et al.,2015). As a nurse, I ensured that Jim’s family was not present during our one on one sessions to encourage Jim to open up. I scheduled meetings with the family members and encouraged them to let Jim make his own decisions, but also to support and encourage his decisions. I assured Jim’s parents that the best care will be provided to their son thus prompting them to go home and get some rest.
Families play an important role in a patient’s life. Family nurses should not alienate family members while caring for the patients. However, the patient always takes priority and should be consulted before including the family in the decision-making process. The overall health of the patient usually involves the patient, nurse and family to achieve positive health outcomes. It is the nurse’s role to ensure that these relationships are maintained.
Bradley, E., & Green, D. (2018). Involved, inputting or informing: ‘Shared’ decision making in adult mental health care. Health Expectations, 21(1), 192-200.
Kaakinen, J. R., Coehlo, D. P., Steele, R., Tabacco, A., & Hanson, S. M. (2015). Family health care nursing: Theory, practice, and research. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.