Mental disorder is a life threating disease that negatively impacts the psychological development of an individual. This psychiatric disorder makes a person have a poor ability to operate in life hence subjecting him/her to recurring suffering (Pyne, Bean & Sullivan, 2001). In my case, I am engaging with Joe, who is suffering from schizophrenia which is a life-threatening disease that has both short and long-term consequences to not only the victim but also the family, health services and society at large. I am required to engage the client through assessing his mental condition and state so that I will propose an appropriate intervention that will mitigate the problem. This task requires me to apply my skills because it is a challenging situation that needs utmost care.
First, assessing the patient was complicated because of significant functional and cognitive impairments that have affected joe. The condition had affected his communication skills since he was unable to speak fluently. Moreover, his thinking had been partially disrupted thus damaging his self-sense and insights. With these obstacles on hand, I had to a pervasive strategy where I sit down with joe and discuss several issues that affect him. Although he experienced difficulties in expressing himself, he managed to explain how he undergoes stigma, trauma, social exclusion, discrimination and being disheartened by his conditions. I continuously noted down his circumstances which he expressed in a bitter tone although he was relaxed when addressing me due to trust and believe that I can assist reverse the situation.
Other than his current situation, I asked him concerning his backgrounds. I intended to understand his marital status, religion, national origin, and age among other issues. This is because I believed the information would be helpful when analyzing an effective intervention to solve the problem. Despite being demoralized, I noticed bravery in his facial expression as he is determined to overcome the mental disorder he is suffering from. As a test of his mental state, I asked him to provide some of the possible alternatives that can alleviate his problem. To my surprise, he was able to say that practicing relaxation, daily exercise, eating well and talking to someone will help him overcome the problem. With this breakthrough, I commenced guiding and counseling him on other ways that can help him be stable despite his worsening situation.
The first intervention I did was explaining to him what schizophrenia disease meant and explained how the disease could be managed efficiently. Additionally, I explained to him how is safety will be guaranteed despite being neglected by his close associates. Also, I recommended him to accept his situation and make efforts to manage his time, relax, eat well, have adequate time to sleep and avoid actions that do not reduce stress like using drugs and alcohol. Moreover, I directed him to follow the medical advice of his psychiatrist because it is a breakthrough for his psychological stability. To give him hopes, I explained to him about previous patients who suffered from his conditions on how they have recovered. This gave him more determination to overcome the challenging.
The Skills I Used to Engage the Client
Although it seemed to be an easy task in engaging him, I had to use my skills and expertise in the situation. Foremost, good listening and observation skills are crucial while assessing the mentally challenged client (Dixon, Holoshitz & Nossel, 2016). Listening skills enabled me to be attentive while asking him some questions that could allow me to understand his situation well. I managed to hear his primary problems thus enabling me to draft an effective intervention. Observation skills, on the other hand, helped me to pay close attention to his facial expressions and body language. This proved to be crucial when developing appropriate interventions.
Empathy is another excellent skill that played a crucial role in my efforts to assist Joe. I was capable of understanding his situation profoundly, and I felt the pain he is undergoing. My emotional and cognitive empathy put me in his shoes which challenged me to look for ways to help the situation. I was forced to counsel him to bear with his painful condition while being diagnosed because I believed Joe needed someone close to comfort him in this hard moments. The breadth of knowledge of schizophrenia disease was also significant in engaging the patient. I had experience about how the disease can be managed which is mostly through mental relaxation of the victim. In fact, it proved to be decisive when interacting with Joe who was cooperative and optimistic.
Besides those skills, I had some excellent communication skills. Communication is a great ability which enables a person to interact well with another person. I managed to talk to Joe without any communication breakdown because I used simple language which he could hear despite being mentally challenged. The skill was aided by being humble and professional when engaging him. His condition demanded someone who uses low tone to avoid him feel threatened. Furthermore, willingness to spend time educating patient is another excellent skill I applied in this situation. I was able to sit down with Joe, hear his views and perception, take time assess his condition and finally propose some of the interventions. Without these skills, the entire engagement would not have been successful.
My Efforts to Collect, Organize and Interpret Information About the Client
Although I spent a great time interrogating him to get relevant information, I had to conduct further analysis to gather other additional information. Determining the state of his background was helpful because some factors could have aided in worsening his mental state. For instance, stigma was an issue which was common in his submission. The people around especially his peers started neglecting him and regarding him like a mad person. They paid little attention to his esteem because he always felt abused by the people who should have helped him. I conducted an interview with some of his friends who revealed the level of stigmatization he experienced.
Other than stigma, I researched on how ethnicity, race, and color could affect a mentally challenged victim. In many instances, patients are neglected based on their skin color or race and are denied medical attention (Bhugra, Sivakumar, Holsgrove, Butler & Leese, 2009). In this case, however, Joe did not experience racial abuse, but he felt he was degraded ethnically because his condition led to the loss of position in the community. Regarding religion, Joe had been a staunch Christian who believed in healing despite being in the dangerous state. Precisely, he had the faith of being cured by his God that is why he was so optimistic thus aiding me in guiding him through the healing process. Lastly, I interviewed his family members to understand if he is affected by any family issue, if he eats well, rests and engages in physical activities. The feedback I received helped in advising on ways of minimizing stress such as being active while doing family chores.
Clients Strength and Weaknesses
Joe is a fantastic person with great personality despite being mentally challenged. The most significant strength I observed is being very optimistic even though his situation was worrying. I always interact with him on a daily basis and through his facial expressions, I see a person with the full hope of recovering sooner than later. Additionally, he had good listening skills because he paid attention when I was explaining to him more about his conditions and remedy. In fact, he has heeded to my guidance since he has developed to be more active and slowly minimizing depression.
Moreover, his other strength is resiliency. He always recovered faster from challenges he faced which is mainly discrimination. Despite being continuously hurt, he had a strong heart that made him overcome the situation and move on. Furthermore, I loved his efforts because of self-awareness. He did not choose to destroy his life because of his condition, but instead, he was aware that maintaining his temper will lead him to recovery.
However, Joe expressed some of the actions that were not good for his recovery. His most significant weakness was following doctors instructions entirely concerning medicine use. In many instances, he rejected being hospitalized and being treated because of attitudes towards medication. In cases like this, I had to intervene and offer him advice on the benefits of strictly following doctors instructions for his benefits. Other weakness was not eating well as recommended by the medical officer. This hugely impacted his recovery efforts.
Nevertheless, the other significant weakness was paranoia. He did not trust many health personnel to handle his situation except few individuals who he trusted. Instincts of a paranoid person make him/her fear of being mistreated or neglected by the doctors thus became fearful (World Health Organization, 2005). Lastly, in some cases although few instances, he had self-loathing where he hated his situation which in many times worsened his situation.
Impacts of Socio-Economic Justice and Human Rights in The Situation
Diversity greatly influences the way challenged people with a mental health condition are treated. This is influenced by peoples beliefs, values, languages, and norms. Ideally, cultural differences can influence whether a person will seek medical attention or not and what type of attention he/she will seek. In this case, Joe was not bound by cultural barriers as he was willing to receive treatment without being restricted by the diversity within the community. Moreover, in a more diverse community, there are high cases of stigma, language barriers and misinformation about mental problems thus can affect the perception of the people while interacting with mental health patients (Gopalkrishnan & Babacan, 2015).
Furthermore, socio-economic justice is critical in ensuring societal perspective is reflected in structures for arrangement and funding health care facilities that take care of mental health conditions. Under the human rights, patients suffering from mental diseases such as schizophrenia needs utmost care (Jenkins, Baingana, Ahmad, McDaid & Atun, 2011). In this case, Joe deserves justice in the community where he should be entitled to best medical care and other basic needs for his recovery. Economically, the victims should be entitled to small income for their sustenance, should have good housing, education and access to social services.
Pyne, J. M., Bean, D., & Sullivan, G. (2001). Characteristics of patients with schizophrenia who do not believe they are mentally ill. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 189(3), 146-153.
Dixon, L. B., Holoshitz, Y., & Nossel, I. (2016). Treatment engagement of individuals experiencing mental illness: review and update. World Psychiatry, 15(1), 13-20.
Bhugra, D., Sivakumar, K., Holsgrove, G., Butler, G., & Leese, M. (2009). What makes a good psychiatrist? A survey of clinical tutors responsible for psychiatric training in the UK and Eire. World Psychiatry, 8(2), 119-120.
World Health Organization. Department of Mental Health, & Substance Abuse. (2005). Mental health atlas 2005. World Health Organization.
Gopalkrishnan, N., & Babacan, H. (2015). Cultural diversity and mental health. Australasian Psychiatry, 23(6_suppl), 6-8.
Jenkins, R., Baingana, F., Ahmad, R., McDaid, D., & Atun, R. (2011). Social, economic, human rights and political challenges to global mental health. Mental Health in Family Medicine, 8(2), 87.
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