How To Prevent Mental Illness – Focusing on the risk to health is the key to preventing any disease or injury. This is the focus of nursing in the adoption of preventive strategies. Meanwhile, these strategies occur in tiers or levels refereed to as three tiers or levels of prevention. This is applied to mental nursing. These tiers or levels of How To Prevent Mental Illness include;
A) Primary prevention
These are measures that are aimed at reducing the incidence or occurrence of mental illness or disorders. The measures include;
- Education target at groups at risk and areas of needs. Such groups at risk include the unemployed, the home;less, the widows, the aged, the orphans to enable them cope effectively with the stress of life. However, the areas of need include; parenting skills, child development, stress management techniques, alcohol/drug abuse prevention.
- Provision of vaccine against certain diseases that may impinge on mental status of persons, such as meningitis, poliomyelitis.
- Advocacy for enforcement of certain protective measures such as wearing of helmet in work sites and while on motor bikes, putting of seat belts while in the vehicle, etc. this is to prevent injury to head in the cases of accident
- Regular medical check-ups and screening to detect impending abnormality in advance, such as high blood-cholesterol level, which may lead to hypertension and eventually to stroke (cerebrovascular accident)
- Enhancement of positive and harmonious interpersonal relationship in the family, work and community.
- Good and adequate nutritional intake to enhance brain development
- Advocacy on practices that promotes mental mental health engagement.
B) Secondary Prevention
These services or measures aimed at reducing the prevalence or duration of psychiatric illness by shortening the cause of the illness. This is however, accomplished through the following measures;
- Early detection of signs and symptoms of ailment
- Accurate diagnosis of ailment
- Prompt and appropriate treatment of ailment
- Establishment of measures to ensure compliance to treatment
- Prompt referral of cases to the appropriate service center if need arises.
C) Tertiary Prevention
These are services aimed at reducing the residual defects that are associated with severe or chronic mental illness. It is directed towards restoring the patient to a possible level of normal functioning or living that is within the limitation of the handicapping situation that has been acquired through the illness. The measures include;
- Rehabilitation that involves assessment of residual disabilities and remaining capacities, involvement of multi-disc disciplinary support groups, family, and after care service personnel for skills provision.
- Palliative care, which involves the alleviation of evident signs and symptoms or complaints of patients.
- Monitoring and treatment of complications
- Improvement of care through education of care givers as well as teaching patients on how to care foe some of their needs.
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