Mental disorders affect millions of children, adolescents, men, women, and older adults. Research from the National Institute of Mental Health shows that mental disorders are common throughout the United States, affecting tens of millions of people each year, and that, overall, only about half of those affected receive treatment. These mental disorders include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Social phobia
Many individuals receiving care for mental health conditions also have physical ailments that require medical attention. Currently, though, our physical and behavioral health care systems tend to operate independently, without coordination between them, and gaps in care, inappropriate care, and increased costs can result.
Advocacy as a social worker is an important means of raising awareness on integrating physical and mental health care and ensuring that these issues are on the national agenda of our government. Advocacy can lead to improvements in policy, legislation, and service development.
Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:
- Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services. (PO 5)
- Demonstrate character, scholarship, and leadership in becoming a world changer through application to personal life and professional social work practice.
- Demonstrate Christ-like attitudes, values, worldviews, and ethical and professional behavior within advanced clinical practice. (ILO 1)
- Textbook: Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World
Hoefer, R., & McNutt, J. (2016). Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World.
Oxford University Press.
- Website: National Institute of Mental Health
- Video Link: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/what-is-prevalence.shtml
Imagine you are living in a rural area of your state. The closest doctor is 25 miles away. You have a decent job, but health care for your family is too expensive. You must choose between having health care through your employer or being able to pay your rent, pay for utilities, and buy groceries. Your income is over the limit for Medicaid or the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Your eight-year-old has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Without treatment, he is unlikely to pass the third grade.
This is a common scenario in the United States today. It is important to understand how policy can impact the daily lives of clients. With this knowledge, you will be able to advocate for policies and effective service delivery to a broader range of consumers.
- Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
- Read Chapter 9, “Physical and Mental Health Care Policy,” in your textbook Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World.
- Explore the National Institute of Mental Health website to learn about the prevalence of mental disorders in various populations.
- Respond to the following prompts in APA format. Provide a one paragraph response while citing workshop resources to support your response.
- What is the relationship between poverty and health? How does the relationship change in a move from an industrial society to an information society?
- Are more Americans uninsured because of the policy choices that our society makes? Explain.
- How does America’s physical and mental health care system affect the nation’s economy?
- Disease outbreaks in other nations can make it to the United States in a matter of hours. How can people prepare?
- Review the rubric that your instructor will use to evaluate your work. Self-assess your initial post and responses using the rubric and make improvements as needed to meet expectations and ensure that your work fulfills all the requirements.
- When you have completed your assignment, save a copy for yourself and submit a copy to your instructor using the Assignment submission page by the end of the workshop.