There are many reasons why Mental Illness Awareness Week in nursing homes is a valuable and important initiative. Among these reasons include contributing to a more supportive and compassionate environment for residents, helping reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness in nursing homes, and serving as a reminder for nursing homes to prioritize mental health care as an integral part of their overall healthcare services.
Mental Illness Awareness Week
The first week of October is Mental Illness Awareness Week which is run in collaboration with the National Alliance of Mental Illness to raise awareness, fight discrimination, and offer support through this initiative.
Mental Illness Awareness Week is important because of the following reasons.
It will highlight a taboo topic
It is understood that there are certain stigmas surrounding mental illness. This activity will break down discrimination, misinformation, and stereotypes.
It will focus on real-world experiences
This activity will share information that contains experiences and stories of people living with mental illness daily. Thus, the shared experience will make this illness very relevant.
It will save lives
This event will show support and understanding by reaching out, allowing discussion, and creating conversation about mental health. People living with this condition need this type of life-changing initiative.
Seniors and Mental Illness
Seniors most commonly have mental health problems and may experience affective and anxiety disorders, dementia, isolation, and psychosis, among other things. They may also suffer from behavioral and sleep disorders, cognitive deterioration, or confusion states resulting from physical disorders or surgical interventions.
Promoting mental health for seniors is a vital role of healthcare providers. Particularly those in primary care, by working with civil society organizations, families, local governments, mental health professionals, and communities to provide comprehensive mental healthcare and supportive environments.
Supporting Mental Health in Nursing Homes
It is quite challenging for nursing home residents to adjust to life in a long-term care facility. Some deal with different mental conditions making it difficult to maintain good mental health.
There are advocates or groups that are focused on supporting mental health in nursing homes. In fact, there are many mental health services offered to residents. Even facilities that don’t have mental health professionals can get outside help when needed.
Nursing home residents can seek help from psychologists and psychiatrists to manage their mental health. This can be done through in-person, online visits, or over-the-phone interaction. This will help residents cope with emotions and work through trauma.
Ombudsmen in Nursing Homes
They serve as advocates for residents and work to resolve concerns and issues at hand. Such may include complaints about food quality, allegations of abuse or neglect, and lack of mental healthcare.
Social workers in Nursing Homes
There are lots of ways social workers can help nursing home residents. For instance, they can perform basic psychological counseling and connect nursing home residents with other mental health resources in the community.
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