To address the lack of adequate mental health awareness support for 16-25 year olds the Mental Health Foundation is launching its delivery peer-led Healthy Conversations.
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Nevertheless, policy makers could not ignore the problem of people with mental health problems since many people with mental illnesses were believed to be dangerous. Moreover, policy makers and society at large did not want to focus on the problem of people with mental health illnesses. Instead, health care system and policy makers simply preferred to move people with mental health problems to asylums, where they could not “disturb the public” (Tremain, 2001, p.74). The latter means that they were isolated to asylums where they could be treated, but the psychiatric treatment with the use of new methods, including both medication and psychological help, were developed and these methods opened new opportunities for the treatment of people with mental health problems. Eventually, it became obvious that they can be treated and lead a normal life, at least the majority of those who were traditionally kept in asylums. As a result, by the late 20th century, people with mental health problems had started to get a different treatment as their isolation was viewed as a problem rather than a treatment and new approaches and policies were developed.
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4. Physical and structural barriers: These include many items such as one or a combination of the following: the lack of information; lack of access to available services; economic inability to afford the service; language difficulties in communication; and geographical distance from available service.
To deal with these difficulties, several recommendations can be formulated:
1. Cross-cultural variables: Ethnic matches should be arranged between client and therapist. These will be effective in dealing not only with communication problems, but also with cultural perceptions of the disease as well as with possible social stigmas attached to the disease. The therapist, sharing similar cultural background to the patient understands the patient's concern and speaks the patient's language therefore is more able than another to 'pull' her through.
Other recommendations include items such as that Government should allocate more funding to establishing specific mental health treatments that are run by and appeal to the various ethnic minorities. In a similar manner, government should increase their funding for research and clinical training of ethnic and racial minority members (e.g. the minority Fellowship Program and the COR). Finally, general Mental health services should incorporate cross-cultural communication variables in their general service (so as to appeal to the population as a whole) and mental health professionals, accordingly, should be trained in cultural competency. Materials in various languages should be published and disseminated publicizing the need and for and benefits of mental health services; and outreach to underserved groups should be conducted.
2. Research: Increased funding should be directed to encouraging extended research on cross-cultural differences in mental health symptoms and interventions that can be formatted to deal with these needs. Existent research, too, has so far only dealt with attitudinal obstructions. More research must be devoted to finding emotional reasons that deter individuals from seeking help. Disparities also exist in the quantity of research allotted to different populations; some, in other words, are studied more often than others. Health care professionals, therefore, should pay more attention to under-studied populations
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