Screening and Mental Health Care

As an educational opportunity, briefly summarize a scholarly article related to the topics below that provides additional information to the discussion. Reply utilizing at least two scholarly references (the scholarly article you are summarizing and one additional reference) per peer post.

Response One:

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Screening Tools

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Screening is an important part of preventive care. Screening typically involves the use of screening tools. While they are not diagnostic they can help identify patients early enough to provide timely treatment and reduce consequences (Iragorri & Spackman, 2018). I think whatever screening tools are utilized in health care providers have to be aware of their specificity and sensitivity and to understand that these alone are not diagnostic, but rather raise the suspicion of a disease and warrant further investigation. In addition, the utilized tools have to be age and gender appropriate and to target specific populations, be easily accessible, cost effective, reliable (false positive and negatives), the information they provide has to be of value, and pose none to minimal health risk (Iragorri & Spackman, 2018).
One of the screening tools I use daily is Body and Mass Index (BMI) . While BMI is not diagnostic of the body fatness or the health of the individual, it can still provide valuable information regarding potential health problems related to abnormal weight (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). In my practice setting regular BMI monitoring is especially important for patients who are on antipsychotic therapy as antipsychotics are often times associated with weight gain (Stahl, 2017) , which can increase the risk for multiple preventable diseases such as Type II Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (Ofei, 2005). Other tools that I use and find fairly informative are depression screening tools with most often being PHQ- 9, anxiety screening tools such as GAD-7 and mood disorders questionnaire. While I don’t solely rely on these tools for diagnosis as at times it is quite clear that patients minimize or overstate their symptoms, , I do find them supportive of my diagnostic formulation and establishing a plan of care for the particular patient.
In conclusion, screening tools can be very useful for screening for various diseases, and while they are not sufficient enough for a diagnose, they can help identify abnormalities which warrant further investigation. In addition, they have to be appropriate for the particular population being screen.

Response Two:

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Mental health care in the United States is a growing concern that effects both men and women of all ages. Advanced practiced registered nurses (APRN) serve as healthcare providers to patients who may experience mental health issues. Therefore, it is important for them to understand how to effectively provide high-quality care to these patients, in order to improve their quality of life.

3 Issues in the United States

One issue that is consistent within the United States in relation to mental health is the access to care. A recent article discovered that people who are seeking access to mental health care have difficulty gaining access through their health insurance, understanding what services they are eligible to receive, and where to find service (Dunley & Papadopoulos, 2019). This issue is effecting many Americans in a negative manner as they do not understand how to properly access mental health services. With this occurring, it further decreases the APRN’s ability to prevent diseases from occurring and hinders the overall health of a patient who seeks mental health care. Improving access to mental health care is needed within the United States, in order for these patients to receive the care the desire. Therefore, the APRN must be knowledgable in their ability to provide education regarding specific mental health services they can refer patients to. In doing so, will help prevent diseases from occurring and help improve the health status of mentally ill patients.

A second issue the United States faces is the cost of care. Cost of care for mental health services is another issue that can decrease an individuals likelihood of receiving the care they require. A recent article discovered that adults with psychological health issues reported issues of affordability when accessing health care, and that the cost of mental health care served as an obstacle for them seeking treatment (Dedania & Gonzalez, 2019). The cost of mental health care serves as a hinderance for patients improving their health status. Therefore, disease prevention and health promotion suffers from this inability to reduce costs. In doing so, it is important for the APRN to offer treatment, resources, or support groups that are cost effective in improving the lives of mental health patients.

The third issue the United States faces in a lack of mental health providers. A lack of mental health providers means patients will not be able to be seen by mental health experts and receive the adequate care needed to improve their illness. A recent article revealed that the US needs to implement integrated psychiatric, social, and medical services within the community and improve emergency departments to have a 24-hour crisis team in place for mental health (Frances, 2020). Improving access to mental health services will promote disease prevention and improve health promotion. Supplementing the community with enough mental health services is a crucial implementation because it will ensure all mental health patients are seen by a mental health expert.

Challenges within Community

The challenges within the community I serve is the cost mental health services. This is the primary challenge that my community is effected by. There are a large abundance of medical facilities within Orange County, CA and all offer adequate mental health services. However, the cost of these services offered by these medical facilities are substantially high. The inflation of these prices has served as a primary challenge within my community. With that being said, has inhibited patients from seeking mental health services and not seeking the medical needs they require. Changes within my community are needed to ensure patients with mental illness receive the high-quality care they deserve, in order to improve their quality of life.

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