Viewing entries in
Uncategorized

6 BARRIERS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS

1 Comment

6 BARRIERS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS

barrier_one-header.jpg

BARRIER #1: ATTITUDINAL BARRIERS

Attitudinal barriers commonly cause those living with mental illness to avoid seeking mental health services. These attitudinal barriers can include believing that a mental illness will resolve on its own or not believing in the beneficial aspects of psychiatric care.

As an example, look to a 2009 Psychiatric Services study which examined needs for mental health services in a sample of 272 veterans who met screening criteria for a mental health condition. Researchers found that negative beliefs about mental health services were strongly associated with concerns about barriers to care and an increased perception of mental illness stigma. Negative beliefs about mental health care were also associated with a decreased likelihood of mental health counseling in the six months prior to interview.

Can attitudinal barriers be adjusted?

Educational interventions introduced throughout the early school years could work to develop a better publicly-shared understanding about mental illness. Ideally, educational interventions would orient children and young adults toward social inclusion and pro-social action. Programs introduced during the final years of high school could include contact with a person living with mental illness; this person could contribute to the intervention process on a voluntary basis by sharing her/his experience of living with a mental health condition. Interventions successful in aiding the development of empathy toward those with mental illness may prove successful in removing attitudinal barriers toward mental health issues and treatment.

Strengthening support in local communities could be facilitated by the creation of weekly or monthly community meetings centered around mental health and well-being. Meetings would bring community members together with the shared goals of spreading information about mental health issues and resources, bolstering public support, and creating community bonds. If a wellness group is missing in your community, consider discussing with friends, family or town board members the possibility of starting a mental health and wellness group near you. The number of interested people may surprise you!

Note: Some organizations, such as NoStigmas and Mental Health America, provide a link for locating mental health support facilities across the country.

[button color="#8ba33b" size="small" link="https://www.nostigmas.org/mental_health_barrier_2/"]BARRIER #2: MENTAL ILLNESS STIGMAS -->[/button]

1 Comment

Comment

Transforming Stress Time to Meditation Time

When I moved to Chicago for school, my other off-campus friends told me that the first couple of weeks of commuting are exciting, an adventure, and you can’t get enough of it.  But then, they said, once you’re settled in and used to the buses, the trains, and the long walks down the streets where buses don’t run, you become quickly disenchanted. It happened more quickly than I expected it to.  After just a couple days of adjusting to my new semester’s class schedule, I started closing my eyes to make myself feel like I was getting just a little more rest because the coffee or tea or whatever form of caffeine I was using hadn’t kicked in yet.  I would stare out the window and wonder why the traffic had to be so heavy, why everyone had to pile on the bus at one stop and get off at several others.

I started, in short, to think of my commute as a waste of time.  I don’t like wasting time.  As a student, I have plenty of things I need to get done during any given week.  Sitting down to relax and recover from the stress load of the week is one of those things.

So how can a commute, typically stressful in itself, help us to get more than heap after heap of stress out of our work week?

Using that time for meditation is one possibility.  Meditation as a relaxation technique is gaining popularity in research studies.  Yale University Researchers have explored the relationship between sleep and meditation, in an article published by Psychology Today.  Researchers found that people who meditate on a regular basis can more easily tune out the parts of the brain associated with anxiety and other mental health issues.  Meditating can help lead to a greater mental alertness and clarity of thought.

The type of meditation ideal for fifteen to twenty minute intervals is called transcendental meditation.  It relaxes the mind and body by releasing stress and tiredness, and can be practiced simply by sitting comfortably with eyes closed.

Zen meditation may take more time than transcendental meditation, but if practiced it includes closing the mind to any thoughts or images that might occur to it in order to escape from the constant talk of one’s mind.

Taoist meditation is typically seen as a more practical meditative form.  Its purpose is to focus a person’s flow of breath by expanding and contracting the abdomen.  Through this, anybody practicing this type of meditation will gain a focused attention that may be applied to situations in everyday life.  This is the type of meditation that encourages focusing on the positive when a negative situation arises.

Mindfulness meditation, in contrast, is involved with being alert of everything that’s going on in the present situation, forcing our bodies to focus on what we can’t change.  It’s all about being aware of things you don’t have any control over.

These are only a couple of the many different varieties of meditation, though nearly all of them can be utilized for the purposes of relaxation or increased well-being, both mentally and physically.  The Maharishi Foundation outlines specific meditation health benefits including reduced high blood pressure, increased productivity, and decreased anxiety among practitioners of transcendental meditation.  The most important thing when deciding which type of meditation to practice is deciding what works with your schedule and what you need to get out of it, because, like a lot of other things, what you get out of it is what you put into it.

 

Comment

The 12 Steps to Surviving Bipolar Disorder

1 Comment

The 12 Steps to Surviving Bipolar Disorder

Before I begin, I want to make something crystal clear. I've always despised rules, I've always resisted structure and I've always had disdain for authority. Always have. That being said, I will now share with you how I changed this destructive wa...

1 Comment

The NoStigmas Movement

1 Comment

The NoStigmas Movement

Approximately 2,000 people took their own lives on 18 January 1987; Michael Daniel Moore was one of them. He left behind a wife and three children ages seven, six, and three. He was neither a bad nor a stupid person. He was a person in pain and sa...

1 Comment

Seal of Transparency
2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit on GreatNonprofits.org
Want to volunteer, donate, or review?   Visit GreatNonprofits.org.