Thursday, 21 May 2015

Day 2 - Mental Health

Day 2 - My assigment

I have recently been studying an online course called Mental Health and Psychology : Nature vs Nurture with the University of Liverpool here. This course is for 6 weeks and this week, which is week 5, we had a 500 word assignment, this is mine.  How fitting for my 500 words a day.

Maintaining your Mental Health.
There are many factors which can negatively influence a person’s mental health with relevant and appropriate strategies to alleviate these factors. I am going to look at 3 factors and example strategies for each.
The earliest factor to consider is pre-conception and the pre-natal period. This period is highly significant and teenage pregnancy plays its part in mental health issues occurring after the birth of the baby with a high risk of the baby then developing mental health issues in childhood, adolescence and adulthood.  During the pregnancy, especially in adolescent pregnancy, risk taking behaviours, such as smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs, may contribute to the factors which can negatively influence both the adult and baby’s mental health.  
The 2nd factor I am going to look at is the effects of Childhood trauma on mental health as an adolescent and adult. In research in recent years it has been discovered that traumatic events in childhood have a lasting negative influence on an adult’s mental health. There are lasting consequences from experiencing trauma as a child, such as sexual abuse or physical abuse, the main being Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  which can arise in the late teen years and adulthood.
The final factor negatively influencing a person’s mental health can be the “work-life balance” (WHO, 2012) as an adult. There are detriments to mental health in a stressful work environment and not spending enough time with friends and family. On the other end of the scale unemployment has a negative influence on mental health with higher death rates. On both ends of the scale people may then disengage with leisure activities increasing negatives affects on well being and mental health.
 Early intervention and prevention is a vital strategy for the pre-conception and the pre-natal period, starting with education for young parents to be, one particular group is Mellow Parenting which involves an element of the programme called Mellow Bumps. Mellow Bumps is an engagement programme to promote early attachment with bump and preparation for labour with relaxation. That is just one example of a parenting group, but the World Health organisation (2012) states the importance of parent training and natal care. This early intervention may be vital to influence promotion of good self care enhancing a person’s mental health, therefore alleviating the negative influence on Mother and baby’s mental health in the future.  The 2nd and 3rd factors may require more intervention psychologically but also taking into account Peter Kinderman’s five ways to wellbeing. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one strategy and the Charity, Mind, explains “CBT is learning to break the cycle of negative thinking”. This is carried out with a trained therapist and can be a successful way to overcome symptoms of PTSD.  There also other intervention available, CBT is just one option.  Self- Help can be a very important strategy and using the five ways to well being can have a significant effect on Mental Health in general, PTSD and stressful work environments and unemployment. The five ways to well being include; getting active, giving, maintaining relationships, keep the mind active and be mindful. Self- care can empower and motivate people to overcome negative feelings of mental health and PTSD.
This is a very brief overview of factors which can negatively influence a person’s mental health with strategies for each. There are, however, many more factors as is strategies.

WHO (2012).  Risks to Mental Health: An overview of vulnerabilities and risk factors.
 Background paper by who secretariat for the development of
a comprehensive mental health action plan.

Kinderman P (2014) A Prescription for Psychiatry: Why We Need a
Whole New Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing. Palgrave Macmillan.
London. pp 110-113.

NHS Confederation Fact Sheet (2011).

I received some really good feedback...I am so pleased.

Rachel Rose.x

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