Researchers evaluate experiences of youth regarding mental health services

Mental health problems in the United States have become a grave concern with roughly 18.5 percent American adults affected by them in a year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). However, many of them fail to get adequate mental health treatment that would help in their recovery.

A recent study, titled “Impact of Mental Health Services on Resilience in Youth with First Episode Psychosis: A Qualitative Study,” tried to examine the responses of people regarding the mental health services they receive and the factors that help or impede their well-being. The findings, published in the journal Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research in January 2017, utilized details of interview excerpts with the youth held between November 2010 and March 2012.

Examining conditions that help mental health treatment

The researchers tried to understand the effects of mental health services on the treatment of young people, between the ages of 18-24, diagnosed with first-episode psychosis. Lead author of the study Shalini Lal, an assistant professor at the University of Montreal’s school of rehabilitation stressed, “Eliciting young people’s feedback will lead to better planning and coordination of services that they will find engaging, meaningful and effective.”

The researchers examined various kinds of supports that the youth found to be effective – group therapy and positive interactions with friends and peer support workers. While one of the respondents revealed that the groups helped him acknowledge the fact that he was actually mentally distressed, another one reiterated that right combination of medicines and professionally certified help could go a long way in treating signs of mental illnesses, thus, helping patients to live normally.

The other kinds of support that the young respondents found conducive were regular appointments with mental health experts. The youth also acknowledged support like bona fide kindness, concern and confidence from service providers. Elucidating the observations made, Lal added, “Even small gestures were seen as helpful, ones we may take for granted, like a care manager shaking their hand when they walked in the door. That gesture of respect has a lot of meaning for someone stigmatized by mental illness.”

Identifying barriers to mental health treatment

While dealing with another aspect of the treatment, some participants pointed out their negative experiences while accessing mental health providers for treatment. They complained that the services they received did not coincide with those they had been looking for. Also, a lack of social life and debarring patients from accessing social networking sites like Facebook or preventing them from interacting with friends and family were indicated as constraints hampering the treatment process.

Also, the housing facilities for the mentally impaired resembled ghettos as the patients were allowed access to single room occupancy (SRO) facilities that sheltered many other patients afflicted with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Living in an environment plagued with psychological disorders and addiction problems made it increasingly arduous to attain sobriety.

Recovery is important and possible

Many new guidelines are in place in the U.S. to disseminate information concerning psychiatric illnesses and dependence habits. In addition, the government has been allocating adequate funds for institutions to carry out research work or run hospitals or treatment centers with an aim to provide the necessary treatment.

Any kind of mental illness is a disorder and not a conscious decision that one can get rid of at once. Mental health services must match the needs of those looking for help or getting enrolled in rehab centers to ensure proper recovery. In addition, clinicians can use customized treatment facilities that aid in quick recovery.

If you or your loved one is struggling with any kind of mental illness, contact the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline for information about mental health illnesses. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online for expert advice on mental health rehabilitation.