“If unemployment was once the most prominent source of misery, it has been replaced by mental illness. ” Layard (2004, cited in Raistrick & Richards, n. d. , p. 7) quoted this in his report citing that there are more individuals who are on “incapacity benefits” because of mental problems than the total number of unemployed persons these days. Such situation is alarming and disturbing; it calls the attention of concerned individuals, offices, and groups. The disconcerting news about British lawmakers who has suffered from mental illness supports what Layard had stated.
According to Prime Time Russia (2008) and World News (2008) in their online publications, one in five British lawmakers have experienced mental health problems related to stress. This wasn’t obvious because the lawmakers, according to the published survey, kept quiet about it because they fear that hostile reactions may arise. Indeed, to be tagged on having a mental health problem does not sound good in this contemporary society. Some people tend to become stereotypical on this matter. People suffering from mental health problem – from mild to severe – are labeled as ‘lunatics’, ‘idiots’, and other discriminating names.
The World Health Organization (WHO, 2010) has recently reported that mental, including behavioral and neurological disorders, cause great suffering that people with such disorders are often subjected to social isolation, decreased quality of life, and even increased mortality. This then can incredibly affect economic and social costs. To further highlight the problem, Gask (Gask et al. 2008) mentioned that there were just “little research attention (that) has been given (in an attempt) to implement organizational initiatives to improve quality of care for mental health care.
” According to them, the problem lies in clinical governance. Clinical governance, according to the NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (2005) through NHS Scotland (2007), is defined as “the system through which NHS organizations are accountable for continuously monitoring and improving the quality of their care and services and safeguarding high standards of care and services. ” Clinical governance should be implemented in any healthcare setting, most especially in primary health care facilities, where clients seek help initially before being referred to a higher level of health care system.
Primary health care, including primary mental health care, is one of the concerns of the Alma Ata Conference. Together with other concerned authorities such as the World Health Organization, the Conference formulated and implemented structured mental health protocols and care pathways for primary care setting. These serve as the framework for the first level in the health care system. In this article, primary mental health care as a whole is the concern. In particular, this write-up discusses about the definition, signs and symptoms, risk factors, and complications of mental health.
This article also emphasizes why primary mental health care should be given full attention. Moreover, this paper tackles what primary mental health care can do in this world. In this light, the five fold function of primary mental health care which are promoting mental health and wellness, preventing mental illness, alleviating pain and suffering due to mental health problems, restoring mental health, and creating a spiritual environment, are clearly presented.