Mental Health Assignment

The aim of this assignment is to identify who is at risk from depression, what reasons individuals become depressed and treatment options available. I will then identify how depression impacts on family members and others affected by it. Treatment options for depression will also be discussed. More than 31 million prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs were issued in 2006 and are still on the rise (BBC News on Health 2007).

The stigma attached to mental illness is very negative, with the media playing the largest part, and this will also be discussed. I have chosen to bring to light depression, as working as a TAP within primary care, it is often the first port of call for patients suffering depression. In the UK depression is the third most common reason for consultation with a General Practitioner (Shah 1992) According to the World Health Organisation, depression is defined as a “common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration” (WHO 2008). Sane (2008) suggest depression can affect anyone at any time, depression can occur in people from all backgrounds, any occupation, and at any time of life. The Office for National Statistics (2001) states that one person in four will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. Furthermore It is estimated that around 250,000 visit their GP on a daily basis about an emotional or psychological problem (MIND 2008). In the UK between 8 and 12% of the population are affected by depression with women being more likely to experience it than men (Singleton et al, 2001) However (Mind 2005) suggest that men do not often present to their GP’s with emotional problems, being more likely to complain of physical problems that are not picked up on as signs of mental distress. According to (Parker et al, 2002) men do not talk easily about their emotions. They may mask their mental distress with drug or alcohol use, or may complain of chest pain.

In 1999 the Labour Health Secretary Frank Dobson  introduced “The National Service Framework” (NSF) for mental health after declaring that “care in the community has failed” and it is one of a series of national government frameworks which sets out the policy context, values, standards and implementation programme for mental health across the health and social fields, and the statutory, voluntary and private sectors.

The standards of the mental health NSF are;

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1.  Mental Health Promotion, social inclusion and combating stigma and discrimination.

2&3 Primary care and access to services.

4&5 Effective services for people with severe mental illness

6.    Caring about carers

   7.    Preventing suicide

it was expected that local health and social care agencies would organize Local Implementation Teams (LITs) to follow the remit. The Local Implementation Officer (LIO) was accountable for delivering the framework at local level.

What causes depression

There is no specific cause of depression and varies from person to person and can happen for a combination of factors. Depression often runs ...

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