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Psychological health
Roxana Tejera
Florida National University
Nursing Department
BSN Program
NUR 4636-Community Health Nursing
Prof. Eddie Cruz, RN MSN
December 4, 2019
Psychological health
Mental health is an essential aspect of the WHO’s definition of health, and it represents
the emotional, social, and psychological wellness of people. Mental health is a source of
emotional stability, positive self-concept, fulfilling interpersonal relationships, and effective
coping behaviors. Mental illness is a pervasive problem in communities with biological,
political, and social aspects that require nurse-led evidence-based approaches.
Community mental health concepts
Some mental health concepts include risk, vulnerability, and special needs. Risks factors
increase people’s vulnerability to mental health disorders. Examples of risk factors include a
history of psychological health issues, stressful life incidences, medical conditions, trauma, and
child abuse/neglect. Individuals with a history of mental problems are vulnerable to mental
illnesses (Silveira & Rockman, 2016). Stressful incidences such as financial difficulties and
unstable marriages can also lead to mental health disorders. Vulnerability represents the factors
that hike one’s chances of developing mental disorders. The risk factors identified above are
examples of circumstances that elevate one’s susceptibility to mental illnesses. According to
chapter 24, lifestyle behaviors, low self-esteem, socio-economic status, and disenfranchisement,
are some of the factors associated with mental illness vulnerability. Examples of populations
with special needs include senior persons, adolescents, children, ethnic minorities, and women.
The significance of psychological health promotion
The development of psychological health is essential in the community. The promotion
aims at strengthening communities to ensure mental disorders do not occur, and, therefore,
promote wellbeing. Also, mental health promotion checks to see the development of individual
skills that help to strengthen people in the wake of pervasive mental health illnesses. It provides
equality and advocates for the creation of a healthy environment, which allows people with
special needs to acquire necessities.
Biosocial and political factors
Several biological factors can lead to mental illness. Some of the elements are genetic.
For instance, some children are born with brain tumors, which affect brain functioning and lead
to persistent mental illness (Lebowitz and Ahn, 2014). Diseases, such as syphilis, have also been
identified to cause mental illness if they are not treated early enough. Some of the diseasecausing microorganisms attack the brain, and the result is mental illness. Social factors also
cause mental illness. Factors such as segregation and discrimination, for instance, tend to cause
loneliness among individuals. Separation causes depression, and it may lead to mental illness.
Poverty also contributes to mental illness due to the stress that results from unpaid debts and
unsatisfied basic needs. Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse may also cause mental health
disorders. Furthermore, people can develop mental illnesses after exposure to traumatic
experiences, such as the death of a loved one. There are political factors that have been identified
to contribute to the occurrence of mental illness. Political violence, for instance, contributes to a
higher level of stress in communities. Lack of adequate social amenities may also cause
psychological problems. Political ethnicity and tribalism are also significant contributors to
psychological problems.
Evidence-based interventions
Psychotropic medication management includes the use of psychotropic drugs, which
change of balance the chemical compounds in the brain called neurotransmitters. Examples of
neurotransmitters include dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Reducing or increasing the
concentration of these chemical compounds may improve health outcomes for people with
mental health problems. Community case management makes use of community health workers
such as nurses to provide community-level curative treatments or interventions for everyday
health problems, including mental illnesses. Case management offers customized mental health
interventions based on patients’ biopsychosocial needs. The primary focus of these interventions
is to reduce hospitalizations. As such, the approach used traditional mental health services.
Examples of such services include strengthening social relationships and the provision of socioeconomic needs, such as housing, transportation, and employment. Mental health crisis
intervention provides immediate and short-term assistance to patients of mental health illnesses
(Murphy et al., 2015). An example of crisis approach is the use of psychotropic drugs and family
Role of nurses
Mental health nurses are critical in society. They often work with susceptible populations,
and they promote mental health among them. The nurses heed to calls by society regarding
psychological issues, and they make sure that cases of mental illness are managed and controlled.
Also, these nurses develop community-wide strategies to counter mental diseases. They also play
a crucial role in mental health education and creating awareness about mental illnesses in their
communities. Mental health nurses are also essential in carrying research within the community
to identify the causes of mental illness. The investigations carried also help in the identification
of social needs relevant to psychological disorders. Through research, too, nurses get to know
how to avail social needs, thereby averting mental issues. Mental health nurses, therefore, act as
activists in campaigning and advocating for the provision of resources to the community as a
way to reduce depression.
Mental illness is big health issue in many communities. Addressing mental illnesses
requires a holistic approach, encompassing different evidence-based approaches. Some of the
common approaches used include crisis intervention, community case management, and
psychotropic treatment. Mental health nurses play a crucial role in spearheading these
Lebowitz, M. S., & Ahn, W. K. (2014). Effects of biological explanations for mental disorders
on clinicians ’empathy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(50),
Murphy, S. M., Irving, C. B., Adams, C. E., & Waqar, M. (2015). Crisis intervention for people
with severe mental illnesses. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (12).
Silveira, J., & Rockman, P. (2016). Mental disorders, risks, and disability: Primary care needs a
novel approach. Canadian Family Physician, 62(12), 958-960.
Patricia Martin
Florida National University
Nursing Department
BSN Program
NUR 4636 – Community Health Nursing
Prof. Eddie Cruz, RN MSN
December 4, 2019.
This paper examines psychiatric care and mental health in the Community. It
starts by giving basic concepts of community mental health. Three concepts are discussed; social determinants of health, risk, and vulnerability. It proceeds to give biological, social and political factors that affect mental health. It also describes the types of
evidence-based treatment for mental disorders. Lastly, the paper ends by looking at the
roles of nurses in community mental health.
Concepts of Community Mental Health
The term Mental health has three connotations in epidemiology. The term is used
positively to refer to a state of psychological wellbeing. Psychological wellbeing is
viewed as the ability of an individual to harmoniously interact with others in a community
set up, and constructively contribute or participate in positive changes in his/her social
or physical environment (Pilgrim, 2017, p. 3). Second, mental health is used as a prefix
of mental health services. Pilgrim (2017) notes that before World War II, the term psychiatric services was mostly used to refer to mental health services (p. 4). Mental health
services/facilities included hospitals, clinics, and asylum. Presently, the community
mental healthcare as a service is considered part of the wider system of providing mental healthcare. The third connotation of mental health is the negative prefix to imply
mental problem/illness. The term is euphemistically used to soften the use of stigmatizing terms such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia (Pilgrim, 2017, p. 4).
Karen and Janes in the book ‘Community Health Nursing: Caring for The Public’s
Health’ discussed three basic concepts of mental health. These concepts are social determinants of health, risk, and vulnerability (Lundy & Janes, 2016, p. 578).
Social Determinant of Health
The social determinants of health refer to the social and physical environment in
which an individual lives. Social and physical environment factors such as the type of
houses, economic status, neighborhood, and work environment affect one’s mental
health (Lundy & Janes, 2016, p. 660). Lack of or inadequate access to resources affects
individuals or communities negatively. The population living in slums is at higher likely to
suffer from mental illnesses than the wealthy class.
The concept of risk in mental health is a health condition brought about by a
combination of several factors such as a person’s genetic makeup, lifestyle and social
determinants (Lundy & Janes, 2016, p. 578). An individual from a family lineage of people with history for mental disorders is at high risk of developing a mental problem.
A vulnerable population is a group or individuals who are likely to develop mental
health problems due to exposure to the risk environment. They include special population groups such as the elderly, uninsured and underinsured, underrepresented ethnic
groups, children and adolescents who become pregnant. Risk environment may include
poverty, lifestyle, low self-esteem, and disenfranchisement.
Importance of Community Mental Health Promotion in Special Populations
Special populations are incapacitated to access medical services. Therefore,
there is a need for intervention to alleviate the suffering that may not be superfluous.
Authorities can reach to such populations in various ways including admitting them into
hospital wards and asylum. However, the community mental health promotion is preferred in less severe mental health cases. The concept aims at attending the patients at
their normal residential locality (World Vision, 2015). That helps in minimizing costs and
giving timely services.
Biological, Social, And Political Factors Associated with Mental Illness
Mental illness can be a result of numerous factors. These factors are broadly
classified into biological, social and political categories.
Biological Factors
Biological factors that can lead to mental health include genetic makeup (Lundy
& Janes, 2016, p. 578). For instance, a variation in genetic makeup can render a person
susceptible to mental illness compared to others (Lundy & Janes, 2016, p. 580)
Social Factors
Social factors including poverty, lifestyle and low self-esteem increase the risk of
developing mental illness (Lundy & Janes, 2016, p. 579). Poverty affects the health of
people of all ages. Sometimes, individuals in the perceived affluent class in society may
be suffering from the effects of poverty.
Political factors
These are factors that mostly relate to governance and administration. Political
factors that may contribute to mental illness include disenfranchisement and feeling of
powerlessness (Lundy & Janes, 2016, p. 579). Marginalized groups in the society may
lose hope in a political system that has no provision for their active inclusion in governance. The feeling of exclusion from government and policy development may impact a
marginalized race or ethnic group negatively.
Different Types of Evidence-Based Treatment for Mental Disorders
Psychotropic Medication Management
Psychotropic medication, also referred to as psychodynamic medication, is a
psychiatric disorder management method for administering drugs to change the function
of the brain (Leggett, Pepin, Sonnega, & Assari, 2016, p. 957). An example of psychotropic medication is Lithium which is used to suppress feelings of depression. There are
risks associated with this type of mental disorder management. However, for immediate
effective results, especially in acute cases where the patient is experiencing severe
emotional and behavioral disturbances, its use is recommended.
Community Case Management
Community case management is a system of service delivery to patients within
their locality (World Vision, 2015). Local community members are trained and supervised to give medical services to the patients (Sadak, Wright, & Borson, 2016, p. 631).
The system aims at providing timely and effective services to the patients.
Crisis Intervention
Crisis intervention is an immediate intervention undertaken to prevent the occurrence of major destruction. It is an emergency first aid for mental health (Debra Umberson, Donnelly, Xu, Farina, & Garcia, 2019). It is taken to contain the effects of certain
negative happenings that can destabilize the mind. For instance, in the incidence of a
road accident, the survivors may suffer from trauma. It is, therefore, necessary for the
victims to receive immediate counseling to prevent prolonged trauma.
Role of Mental Health Nurses in The Community
Nurses develop and coordinate interventions to reach vulnerable individuals,
families, and communities exposed to mental health problems. Effective interventions
are developed by assessing the risk factors facing a vulnerable population and identifying local resources available to address the predicament of the population (Lundy &
Janes, 2016). Moreover, special nursing roles such as case manager, educator, counselor, partner, and researcher attend to the real problem (Lundy & Janes, 2016). Depending on intervention and the stage intervention, the role changes. That is, a nurse
will assume a certain role depending on the case he is addressing. For instance, when
addressing a lifestyle-caused mental health problem, the nurse will act as a teacher to
give education on the benefit of adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Mental health is a complex sector of the broader medical service. In most cases,
mental illness is a result of a combination of many factors. The affluent in the society
may at times depict mental illness similar to the poor. Such complex scenarios make
psychiatric care intricate.
Debra Umberson, P. D., Donnelly, R., Xu, M., Farina, M., & Garcia, M. A. (2019). Death
of a Child Prior to Midlife, Dementia Risk, and Racial Disparities. The Journals of
Gerontology, gbz154. doi:
Leggett, A., Pepin, R., Sonnega, A., & Assari, S. (2016). Predictors oNew Onset Sleep
Medication and Treatment Utilization Among Older Adults in the United States.
The Journals of Gerontology, 71(7), 954-960. doi:10.1093/gerona/glv227
Lundy, K. S., & Janes, S. (2016). Community Health Nursing: Caring for the Public’s
Health (3rd ed.). Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Retrieved from
Pilgrim, D. (2017). Key Concepts in Mental Health (4th ed.). London: Sage Publications
Sadak, T., Wright, J., & Borson, S. (2016). Managing Your LovOne’s Health: Development of a New Care Management Measure for Dementia Family Caregivers.
Journal of Applied Gerontology, 37(5), 620-643.
World Vision. (2015). What is CCM/ iCCM? Retrieved from

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