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British Columbia Schizophrenia Society
Schizophrenia is in all aspects a real mental illness that healthcare professionals can accurately diagnose. From a medical perspective, it is critical for the actualization of strategies aimed at ensuring treatments is accorded to all its patients including those requiring involuntary treatment (Gaynes et al., 2015). Contemporary research initiatives on the subject underscore that violence is a major symptom of schizophrenia implying that the political and legal standpoints might be detrimental to other societal members. Through appropriate medications, it is possible to limit the occurrence of its anti-social symptoms such as being in danger of others as well as self. This essay discusses the need for policy that is keen on adopting the medical perspective relative to managing schizophrenia through involuntary treatment programs.
Neurobiological disorders compel patients to exhibit undesirable or anti-social tendencies (Fleischhacker et al., 2014). However, given that there are a number of such disorders with many exhibiting similar symptoms, a comprehensive approach towards identifying schizophrenics is an imperative. The manner through which a person reacts to the immediate environment is pegged upon perception. Two of the most distinguishable symptoms for schizophrenia include delusions and hallucinations. This implies that affected persons will often act upon a false belief. Clearly implausible beliefs translate to delusions (Fleischhacker et al., 2014). However, these tend to be central as well as compelling to a patient’s experiences in life. Conversely, hallucinations can be described as perceptions lacking any objective basis. For instance, a person may respond to inner voices demanding self-mutilation or other equally disturbing activities.
Untreated schizophrenia is unacceptable from a medical and by extension, scientific standpoint. According to Fleischhacker et al. (2014), the United Nations provides that it is a fundamental human right to ensure that a person with this particular disease is guaranteed both treatment and protection. In line with emerging best practices trends, it is critical that policy ought to be informed via scientific research outcomes to ensure laws that allow for interdisciplinary strategies to long term support is assured to all patients. Involuntary treatment for schizophrenia ought to have the patient’s best interests as a core pillar to successful outcomes (Gaynes et al., 2015). Working with patient families has through Evidence Based Practices proven to be a highly effective strategy in ensuring long term positive mental health results for persons with the neurobiological disease. As such, it allows for patients personally commit to treatment after successful discharge.
A patient centered approach to availing treatment and care to involuntary schizophrenia patients is a strategy that is expected to develop within them an understanding of why their wellbeing is a paramount objective (Gaynes et al., 2015). This offers an opportune avenue to portray the true picture that the medical profession is committed to upholding patient values, respectful and responsive to their unique preferences. It is hoped for that through this strategy, the patient will gain the motivation to accord the same level of care with regard to health.
Taking care of involuntary schizophrenia clients has to be a long term engagement. This offers medical professionals to nurture therapeutic relationships between them and clients. Gradually, as the patient comprehends the essence of treatment initiative, then it is sufficient to introduce a patient empowerment goal oriented paradigm (Gaynes et al., 2015). The focus of this approach is to enable the patient to overcome any barriers to a good quality of life such as prejudice and stigma. Conversely, guiding them though a path allowing for self-discovery concerning their capacities and strengths to lead healthy productive lives; sustainably.
Firstly, it has to champion for psychoeducative campaigns reaching out to the general society in a manner that eliminates any chances for stigmatization to arise (Gaynes et al., 2015). It is through such initiatives that family members can at least be able to identify some of the symptoms and therefore seek medical advice. Secondly, mental health institutions should appreciate the need for effective service coordination among institutional staff and social workers. Such interdisciplinary collaborations can effectively design initiatives where proper care and treatment may be accorded involuntarily while the family is systematically educated on how to play a part in treatment and protection of the patient.
Upon discharge, it will be the duty of social health workers to liaise with mental health professionals at the community level to ensure provision of psychoeducation is available to the patient, family and other community members (Fleischhacker et al., 2014). Their role will also include minimizing the load of care borne by families. Through counseling services and group therapy sessions, patients who have benefitted from involuntary treatment and successfully accepted that their condition is manageable through treatment are empowered to remain healthy and productive. By extension, they also bear the task of ensuring the development of peer groups aiming at self-help initiatives that positively encourage all societal members with the disease to grow together.
Fleischhacker, W. W., Arango, C., Arteel, P., Barnes, T. R. E., Carpenter, W., Duckworth, K., … Woodruff, P. (2014). Schizophrenia—Time to Commit to Policy Change. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 40(Suppl 3), S165–S194. http://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbu006
Gaynes, B. N., Brown, C., Lux, L. J., Ashok, M., Coker-Schwimmer, E., Hoffman, V., … & Viswanathan, M. (2015). Management strategies to reduce psychiatric readmissions. [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2015 May. (Technical Briefs, No. 21.) Findings. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK299417/