There have been serious challenges in the management of mental illness over years. Despite various campaigns that have targeted improving the management of this condition, there is still little public knowledge on impacts of untreated mental illness. The mental illness is characterized with various devastating conditions. Initially, loss of soberness emanates because of dementias, alcohol, drugs and head injuries. Schizophrenia is a major cause of severe psychosis, which distorts language comprehension, thinking and social behavior (Steinberg, 2012). Schizophrenic patients are usually not aware of the sickness hence do not seek any treatment and if undiagnosed one might think they are possessed by demons. Behavior such as irrational shooting of people indicates the magnitude of the dangers that schizophrenic condition exposes to the society. The health of a community is affected by elements such as culture, religious beliefs and availability of the resources (Fadiman, 2012)
According to (Auger, 2011) raising penalties for criminals who sell semiautomatic weapons to psychotic and schizophrenic patients could curb societal problems that come along with mental illness. Furthermore, providing comprehensive insurance cover and care for the schizophrenics, creating awareness and recruiting more psychiatrics to treat the disorder have the potential of protecting the society from the challenge of dealing with schizophrenic patients (Steinberg, 2012).
In some cultures, mental illness conditions are assumed a private family matter thus revealing such conditions to strangers is prohibited. This privacy creates difficulties in identifying solution for illness due to societal stigma. Mental illness has a perception of a burden although the burden lessens when shared since they might find a solution. At the same time, many patients deny the fact that they suffer from mental illness and refuse any psychiatric intervention (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, 2011).
Attitude towards mental illness differs with cultures, families, ethnicities, individuals and countries. Religious and cultural beliefs have a great impact in nature and origins of the illness as well as the attitude towards it. These beliefs affect the patient’s willingness and eagerness to adhere or seek treatment (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, 2011).
In the book “the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down,” Lia Lee was diagnosed with epilepsy. However, it is unfortunate that her Hmong culture conflicts with the treatment. It is evident that her condition worsens due to doctor’s inability to understand Hmong culture. The parents also refuse to give certain medicines to their daughter, as they believed medication would take away her spiritual giftedness. There is a divergence between scientific and spiritual positions regarding various mental illnesses. According to this book, there is a rivalry in understanding mental retardation with respect to cultural views. According to Hmong culture, a person with epilepsy possesses spirits that attack and one falls. These people consider this an honorable condition as one hosts a spirit of healing and not having the disease. These spirits help them negotiate and communicate with the spirits to heal emotionally and physical ill. Bad attitude notably on African American medical professionals, religious beliefs, and stigma and communication barriers may contribute to circumspection of mental health services (Fadiman, 2012)
Internationally, stigma for mentally ill people is evident. Disabled adults are highly associated with mood and anxiety disorders. Cultural beliefs surround Mental illnesses according to mental illness stigma and ethno-cultural review. In India, different cultures determine the magnitude of stigma that persons with mental illnesses receive. In Asia, Mental illnesses are a source of shame and highly stigmatized. Cultural beliefs and practices on persons with mental illnesses often differ with biomedical perspective. For easy approach of mental illness care, cultural and individual beliefs need effective understanding. Stigma leads to discrimination or denial of responsibilities and rights accompanying full nationality (Steinberg, 2012)
Interventions in Schools
With limited resources in schools, supporting children who exhibit behavior out of the norms is important for efficient functioning of schools. Schools should identify these children, know their weaknesses and mould them through psychological, counseling and social services that schools provide (Steinberg, 2012). These health services enhance the well-being of the pupils adding impetus on mental health in school advocacy. These initiatives have an overall role of enhancing youth development, good performance in schools and preparing productive and healthy citizens. Furthermore, most schools run programs that address psychosocial and mental health with reference to high school dropouts, delinquency, substance abuse, violence, emotional and relationship difficulties. All these will provide early crisis intervention, treatment, prevention and emotional and social development (Fadiman, 2012).
Advancing mental in school gets challenged by other competitive agendas a diverse foundation can emphasize strategic approaches that will foster implementation of policies through adopting a guiding framework, unified mental health thinking and develop a focused network. Advancing mental health in schools establishes ample, multifaceted advances that help ensure schools are supportive and caring places that capitalize on learning and well-being and fortify schools, students, families, and society (Auger, 2011).
Reaction on the Streets
Other countries force those with mental illnesses from the streets arguing that they portray a disgrace. The society fears the encounter with mentally ill since they beg and can harm them. Surprisingly, in some cultures these persons are killed to destroy their lineage, thus eliminate them from the community (Auger, 2011).
The society identifies individuals who suffer mental illness as seers while abusing and cast out others from the society. Most of these persons suffer homelessness, poverty and unemployment due to discrimination. Furthermore, they are denied benefits, excluded from insurance cover and are vulnerable to exploitation. This results to a devastating condition by undermining their ability to cope with everyday life hence worsening their illness. Despite all these, modern society tries to overcome cultural context and treat mental illness like any other threatening diseases (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, 2011).
Good teacher-students relationship is vital for successful monitoring of a child’s behavior change. Essentially, teachers need to establish a close relationship with the students to be in a position of identifying changes and progress of the student. Unconstructive change in student’s behavior is presented by deviant behaviors such as truancy, lack of respect, rudeness, being less cooperative and portraying a carefree attitude. Troublesome instances are also manifested through situations where a student has problems in regulating emotions while presenting outbursts and inflexible habits. Teachers need to assume various strategic interventions to control behavior and classroom environment to deal with challenge of deviant attitudes. For example, students with deviant should be embraced, but the teacher should be cautious to ensure that these students do not recruit others. Designing an accommodative and flexible plan is essential in addressing deciphering behavior. Furthermore, teachers must understand the manifestation of deviant habits and be skilled on how to accommodate them and respond towards them. In consideration to the challenge of the limited resources, it becomes apparent that in the context of classroom, teacher-student rapport is helpful in controlling deviant habits while curtailing them from spreading to other students. Furthermore, schools should consider offering counseling classes or seeking help of psychiatrists in rehabilitating students who present deviant habits.
Auger, R. (2011). The school counselor's mental health sourcebook: Strategies to help students succeed. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.
Fadiman, A. (2012). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the Collison of two cultures. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Gardiner, H. W., & Kosmitzki, C. (2011). Lives across cultures: Cross-cultural human development. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson.
Steinberg, P. (2012). Our failed approach to Schizophrenia. (Editorial Desk)(OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR). The New York Times. p. 25.