Discussion on why mental health is a National Health Priority in Australia. (200 words)
Explanation as to how the ‘Determinants of Health’ need to be considered in relation to youth and young adults’ (15 -25 years) mental health as a health issue in Australia. (200 words)
.Discussion on primary, secondary and tertiary health promotion in relation to youth and young adults’ (15 to 25 years) mental health as a health issue in Australia (300 words).
Discussion of the involvement and roles of community nurse in health promotion that targets youth and young adults’ (15 to 25 years) mental health within a community setting in Australia. (300 words)
Mental health is a crucial public health issue in any nation. It is very costly on the nation health care and social services budget because these patients/clients need constant supervision either at home or in institutions. Besides, the medication needed to keep patients’/ clients stabled often contain serious side effects and are also costly. Hence, this document will review the mental health situation in Australia and how it is being addressed within the country.
Discussion on why mental health is a National Health Priority in Australia.
Mental health is a national health priority in Australia because according to statistics mental illness is very common since one in every five Australian experience some kind of mental disorder in a 12-month time span. Precisely, it has been predicted that 45% of Australians between the ages of 16-85 years will experience a mental illness at some time during their span. This incidence decreases with age. Associating factors include substance abuse. Australians between the ages of 18-24 are at the highest risk and account for 26 % of the total mental illness population in the country (Mental Illness Facts and Statistics, 2013).
Australians 75 years and older are affected at a rate of 5.9%. Importantly, mental health dysfunctions happen to be the third highest factor leading to disability. Already addressing disability has risen to a public health crisis within the country. For example, 27% of the average Australian’s age is lost to disability. Financially, social services have to undertake the responsibility of these individuals and their families when this occurs. Various forms of depression account for most of the absences from work over time among the Australian working. Therefore, based on this supporting evidence mental health in Australia presently is of highest priority. Human resources are a country’s greatest wealth. Once this aspect of the economy is affected as it is in Australia immediately measures must be taken to correct this irregularity for prosperity to be enhanced in the nation (Mental Illness Facts and Statistics, 2013).
Explanation as to how the ‘Determinants of Health’ need to be considered in relation to youth and young adults’ (15 -25 years) mental health as a health issue in Australia.
Determinants of health in any society are relative to the society’s culture and political administration. In the Australia mental health crisis particularly among 15 -25 age group considerations regarding accessibility to education; further education; employment opportunities; parental guidance; social activities; accessibly to available health care and social amenities within the society are areas which can be addressed in providing adequate interventions. According to reports from headspace; Australia has not provided its 15-25 age group population with life skills that would prevent mental illness through health promotion ventures such as education; early detection and intervention (head space, 2013).
This national youth mental health foundation contends that developing services, which are responsive and able to offer early intervention, is essential. The foundation cited delays in obtaining services as being responsible for the escalating mental health rates among youths in the country. Since government services are difficult to access these youth turn to friends and family members for help. Often they are not aware of services in their communities and the need tom intervene with appropriate care is aborted as youth take to the streets for help. Therefore, Public health administration must provide health screening; education; services to detect and treat early signs of mental illness among this high risk population (head space, 2013).
This is very urgent since mental health and substance abuse among 15-25 olds in Australia are synonymous. It would mean that the underlying determinant, which needs to evaluate are reasons for Australia youths abusing drugs that would create mental illness. Importantly, these two disorders account for approximately 60-70% of ill health among Australian youth. Precisely, they are the core of the labor force and human productive resource. Hence, Public health has a major role tom play by taking responsibility for the crisis and designing programs to address this issue (Australia government, 2013).
Discussion on primary, secondary and tertiary health promotion in relation to youth and young adults’ (15 to 25 years) mental health as a health issue in Australia
Australia government operating within the Australia Institute of Health and Welfare gathers data as a primary intervention strategy. While the data in itself does not provide primary care services it determines the nature and quality of primary care intervention communities containing high risk mental health clients will receive. Beverly Raphael (2000) on behalf of the commonwealth of Australia issued a population health model for the provision of mental health. The aim was to integrate mental and general health across life span (Raphael, 2000).
The primary health care model advanced Raphael (2000) indicates that it is a bridge acting to unite ‘existing parallel systems, primary medical care and public health’ (Raphael, 2000, p.18). However, while this model exists theoretically, there is very little evidence of its application in modern Australian mental health care system. A perusal of the Australia government mental health services website shows only data collection a preliminary primary intervention strategy.as such, there seems to be no existing parallel systems within the present mental healthcare models used in Australia. The website merely states the problem without saying what systems are in place to deal with it from primary, secondary and tertiary levels (Australia government, 2013).
Raphael (2000) continues to advocate that secondary mental health is specialist care. They are expected to be provided by ‘psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, and specially trained social workers and occupational therapists’ (Raphael, 2000, p.18). Again there is no program in the Australia mental health care targeting youths specifically regarding this disorder. Distinctly, twenty-first century mental health youth disorder in Australia signals a substance abuse issue also. As such, it may be necessary to for Australia public health to develop a specialist substance abuse mental health youth project in adequately addressing the mental health since it a dual dysfunction superimposing on the other (Raphael, 2000).
At the tertiary level, mental health care moves into providing institutionalized services inclusive of housing even though specialist care may be lacking. Head space plays a very important role in providing services for youth through centers spreading across the nation. However, this allows only for 50% of clients; the remaining 50% go neglected lying on the streets and sometimes homeless (Rickwood et.al, 2013).
Discussion of the involvement and roles of community nurse in health promotion that targets youth and young adults’ (15 to 25 years) mental health within a community setting in Australia.
There have been no specific programs by community health nurses in Australia targeting youth mental health issues. Maybe due to lack of funding public health approaches have been generalized. Headspace has always been more specific. Elsom, Happell and Manias (2008) conducted a survey regarding ‘expanded practice roles for community mental health nurses in Australia: confidence, critical factors for preparedness, and perceived barriers’ (Elsom et.al, abstract, 2008).
Two hundred and ninety-six community mental health nurses employed in metropolitan and rural settings in Victoria, Australia were sampled. ‘Ninety-five percent agreed that extra educational preparation was necessary in relation to undertaking expanded practice roles successfully. Factors considered most strongly as barriers to expanded nursing practice included the medical profession, followed by fear of litigation, and government departments and policies’ (Elsom et.al, abstract, 2008). This limitation exists while mental health nurses roles are expanding as consultants in secondary and tertiary level practices (McGorry et.al, 2013).
In the meantime there exist issues pertaining to the supply, recruitment and retention of Australian mental health nurses. A task force summary analyzing the labor situation reported that mental health services are experiencing extreme difficulties maintain adequately experienced qualified nurses. As such, this creates greater pressure on public health in meeting apparent mental health needs depicted in the youth population substance abuse mental health crisis now facing the country (Piazza Consultants, 2003).
In highlighting the mental health youth crisis facing Australian youth that possible reasons for escalation of the crisis is adequate resources targeting this high risk population as well as available services to address this issue. Additionally, depletion in community health nurses intervention the problem is compounded. Hence, mental health is a National Health Priority in Australia, now.
Australia Government (2013). Mental Health. Retrieved on August 9th from, 2013
Elsom S, Happell B., & Manias E. (2008). Expanded practice roles for community mental health
nurses in Australia: confidence, critical factors for preparedness, and perceived barriers.
Issues Ment Health Nurs. 29 (7):767-8
Headspace (2013).With mental health being the single biggest health issue facing young
Australians, developing services which are able to offer early treatment is essential.
Retrieved on August 9th, 2013 from http://www.headspace.org.au/about-
Mental Illness Facts and Statistics (2013). Retrieved on August 9th from, 2013 from
McGorry P, Bates T., & Birchwood M. (2013). Designing youth mental health services for the
21st century: examples from Australia, Ireland and the UK. Br J Psychiatry Suppl.
Piazza Consultants (2003). Australia Mental Health Nurse Supply, Recruitment and Retention.
Australian Health Workforce Advisory Committee
Raphael, B. (2000). A population health model for the provision of mental health care.
Commonwealth of Australia.
Rickwood D, Van Dyke N., & Telford N. (2013). Innovation in youth mental health services in
Australia: common characteristics across the first headspace centers. Early Interv
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