Despite our advancement and so-called progressivism, there is still a stigma against mental illness. A stigma occurs at several levels such as intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural (Knaak et al., 2015). Intrapersonal stigmas people with mental illness report are feeling devalued, dismissed, and dehumanized by many healthcare professionals. Feeling this way discourages people with mental illness from seeking much-needed further care. The key themes that lead to these feelings include feeling excluded from making decisions, receiving subtle or overt threats of coercive treatment, being made to wait excessively long when seeking help, and being given insufficient information about one’s condition, among others (Knaak et al., 2015). Major obstacles stem from organizational culture rather than individual factors. System changes that can help overcome these obstacles are creating a culture of acceptance by raising awareness and education on mental health illnesses. The ARNP in an administrative position, can create policies and initiatives that help their facility support those with mental health issues. Programs that focus on crisis intervention prevention have proven effective at decreasing suicide among U.S veterans and can be initiated at healthcare facilities (Hester, 2017). Although healthcare professionals do not experience the same stress level as veterans, they experience similar feelings of depression and anxiety that lead them to burnout and substance abuse.
Nurses across all fields can help those with mental illness get the attention they need. Through education and empowerment, nurses can help their patients promote their health. The advanced practice nurse can use social work and case management resources to find patients outpatient care or therapies that may be useful. The advanced practice nurse can talk to insurance companies on their patient’s behalf to help them get the support they need. Partnering with available support systems during the care plan process can make them aware of any crisis prevention or damage control plans for when the patient is in crisis. The advanced practice nurse can also continue to follow-up with their patients after leaving their care.
Mental health is an essential and integral health component involving an individual’s state of well-being in which they can productively work and contribute to their communities, cope with everyday life stressors, and realize their abilities. In workplaces, mental health stigma is a significant challenge where most employees with employer-provided insurance feel uncomfortable approaching the employer for help due to workplace reprisals. Despite all this, system changes can improve fear of workplace reprisals, how nurses can get more individuals to seek mental health, and support patients and their families once they leave care despite insurance barriers.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (2019), while 70% of employees with benefits are familiar with ways of accessing mental health care and 62% of them are somewhat at ease about obtaining services via their employer, workers exceeding one-quarter are not sure of ways of accessing mental health services via their employer. Most employees get worried about being fired or retaliation when seeking mental health services. To improve this situation, workplace wellness programs can be incorporated to identify those at risk of mental health issues, link them to treatment, and offer support systems to aid individuals to cope with and minimize stress (CDC, 2019). Developing psychological health in workplaces “how to” guide would offer assessment tools and notify effective program designs to establish if current programs are successful and have an impact (Goetzel et al., 2018). Further, there is a necessity to have a distinct set of metrics, mainly when working with community partners, insurance companies, wellness vendors, and mental health providers.
In mental health care, promoting health is considered a process-oriented intervention that establishes that health is a developmental process, and the relationship between a patient and a nurse is significant since they impact one another. Also, the result of promoting health is dependent on the interaction quality. The essence in promoting mental health is practical support, educational support, and empowerment portrayed via a good alliance. The alliance involves a conversation concerning two or more people and a nurturing interaction centered on a personal relationship, mutuality, and trust to promote health. Conversely, the development of the alliance is achieved when nurses develop a relationship with the patient as an individual, have smiling faces, are kind, and continue interacting with the patient expansively.
When individuals develop mental illness, they usually require long-term care that the insurance company must cater to the cost. However, insurance company physicians who never personally attend to the patient typically deny long-term care, despite the disapproval of the psychiatrist treating them. An incident is illustrated by Pelley (2015) concerning Ashley, who suffered from bipolar disorder and was denied long-term treatment. In cases like this, APRNs should follow up with their patients once they leave care since most are susceptible to suicide. Also, APRNs can aid outpatient individuals by volunteering or starting outreach programs that cater to their requirements. Other options include participating in local health events targeting those not insured and educating them about national and state programs that are accessible to offer them services. Workplaces that support individuals with mental disorders and promote mental health are more capable of benefiting from related economic advances, increasing productivity, and reducing absenteeism. Working is beneficial for mental health, but a negative work setting leads to mental and physical health complications. Therefore, individuals need to seek mental health care to enhance their functional capability and productivity in the community with nurses at the frontline to curb mental-health-related stigma in the workplace.