The Right to Effective Treatment for Mental Disorders
Mental health refers to an individual’s emotional welfare. It concerns the way people think, behave, and feel. Mental health also implies a lack of mental disorders. According to (Irwin (2008), mental health incorporates an individual’s ability to enjoy life to balance life activities and efforts to attain psychological resilience. Therefore, mental health can be defined as a state of well-being in which an individual recognizes his or her capabilities in a way that he or she can cope with the common stresses of life, can work productively and can be able to contribute to his or her community.
On the other hand, a mental disorder or mental health problem is a psychiatric condition characterized by the destruction of a person’s cognitive, behavioral or emotional functioning. Physiological or psychosocial factors cause it. Therefore, individuals with mental disorders must be subjected to effective mental treatment (43).
People under mental disorder treatment have a right to effective mental treatment.
There has been increasing realization of a right to treatment for people who are mentally disabled. The patients have been involuntarily devoted to mental health facilities. The rights are based upon the idea that if patients are confined for treatment reasons, the treatment must be effectively provided. There has been substantial support for the mental disorder treatment right among legal commentators. Several courts have based the treatment right on such theories as due process, equivalent protection, and the avoidance of unkind and strange punishment (Irwin 2008 8).
Mental disorders can affect anyone. Irrespective of the ethnic group, it can affect old or young, male or female, rich or poor individuals. Therefore, effective treatment should be applied to individuals undergoing mental treatment since the mental health problem is open to everyone. Effective treatment makes people view mental disorder as a normal and treatable disease. Individuals affected and under treatment will, therefore, hope to become well and continue their normal lives. In the United Kingdom, over a quarter million individuals are admitted to psychiatric hospitals every year, and more than four thousand of these people normally kill themselves each year. These individuals usually come from all walks of life (Irwin 2008).
Irwin (2008) argues that People under mental disorder treatment have the right to effective treatment because the treatment entails a full mental and physical health assessment and a personalized treatment plan that might incorporate psychotherapy, medication or other modalities. Effective mental treatment assists patients in understanding their illness and what they can do to resolve problems that can lead to mental disorders. This may entail matters in their jobs, school, or family and community. For psychiatrists to provide effective treatment, they need to know the importance of working with a modified approach to treat the patient’s requirements. They must undertake a hands-on approach to the entire fabric of the patient’s requirements.
The current model of psychiatric care identifies the significance of families as part of the team that can provide effective mental treatment. Enlightened interventions that assist families fighting child abuse and neglect, community and domestic violence, and substance abuse must be incorporated into the modified effective treatment plan for patients. This kind of mental treatment is not expensive. Therefore, there is no need to deny individuals under mental treatment a right to effective mental treatment (Hales 2008 72-4).
Right to effective mental treatment
Extraordinary steps have been made in the mental disorder treatment. Knowing how mental disorders are caused has assisted doctors in modifying treatment for mental problems. As a result, most mental problems can now be treated effectively as physical disorders. Therefore, since effective treatment is now known among doctors, patients suffering from mental disorders have a right to effective treatment.
The treatment entails the application of several mental health disorder methods. The methods can be categorized as somatic or psychotherapeutic. Somatic treatments incorporate drug treatment and electroconvulsive therapy. Psychotherapeutic treatments incorporate people, family, and marital psychotherapy. Behavior treatment techniques and hypnotherapy are some of marital psychotherapy.
As a drug therapy for mental disorders, doctors should prescribe psychoactive drugs to allow individuals to practice better judgment in solving their problems. The drugs can be very effective since they can ease emotional pain, control impulses well, and relieve unlikable symptoms and other forms of distress. It can also assist individuals to feel improved about themselves and their lives. Therefore, individuals undergoing mental disorder treatment need to have a right to drug therapy (Hales 2008).
Effective mental disorder treatment also entails self-help. People with mental disorders need to know the part they should play for them to improve their health. As part of treatment, patients should be taught how to alter their lifestyle, including a better diet and lower alcohol and unlawful drug consumption. They also need to understand that enough sleep and exercise can make a difference in their mental health.
The most successful treatment approaches jointly employ the medications with supportive therapy. The most effective treatment is essential since, without this type of treatment, the consequences of mental disorders to the individual and society are worse. The disorder can lead to unnecessary disability, substance abuse, homelessness, unemployment, unsuitable incarceration, suicide, and wasted lives. The effective treatments for serious mental disorders are currently highly effective. The combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports has significantly reduced the symptoms of over seventy percent of the affected individuals and improved their quality of life (Hales 2008 78-9).
According to Harles (2008 23-4), managed care is increasingly aiming at mental health services to individuals with particular categories of mental disorders. For instance, legislation has increasingly concentrated financing toward services for individuals with serious psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective problems, bipolar problems, delusional depression, and pervasive enhancement disorder (115).
Treatment is to be aimed at functional disabilities that relate to mental illness categories. For instance, treatment of an individual with schizophrenia must be concentrated on variables such as shortages in coping skills, surrounding deficits, or family disagreements that contribute directly to the exacerbation of the schizophrenic disorder. It is also important for psychiatric practitioners to be skilled in categorical and functional evaluation.
In the mental health field, if individuals diagnosed with a major psychological disorder are proven dangerous to others or themselves, they can be lawfully forced to undergo various treatments against their will. In certain jurisdictions, an individual can also be forced to go through treatments if they are verified to be in threat of becoming seriously disabled minus treatment intervention. Mental disorder assessments focusing on such criteria depend on a subjective understanding of current and past performance but not on the pathology tests or physical markers common to physical health problems (Hales 2008).
Hales (2008) argues that the public normally perceive that the criminal justice system provides preferential treatment to individuals with mental disorder. Previous mental patients who have been involved with the judicial system and law enforcement understand from personal experience that they were handled differently compared to how prisoners are being treated. People with mental disorders who do not know they have gone against the law should be held legally responsible for their actions. An ethical caregiver should, therefore, ensure that effective mental treatment is equally provided to everyone (56).
From our discussion, it is evident that individuals undergoing mental treatment have a right to effective treatment. Since mental disorders can affect anyone, all individuals under mental treatment should have a right to effective treatment. The effects of mental disorders on individuals are also serious. The disorder can lead to unemployment, violence, suicide, etc. It is, therefore, important for individuals to have the right to effective treatment to be protected from these consequences. Effective mental health treatment entails some mental health disorder methods. The treatment also entails self-help; individuals can learn how to treat the problem for themselves. Mental disorder treatment entails the combination of medications with supportive therapy.
1. Irwin, S. R. & Rippe M. J. Irwin and Rippe’s intensive care medicine. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.
2. Hales, D. An Invitation to Health. New York: Cengage Learning, 2008.