Influencing Social Change

Therapy for Clients with Dementia In so many countries, to be old is shameful; to be mentally ill as well as old is doubly shameful. In so many countries, people with elderly relatives who are also mentally ill are ashamed and try to hide what they see as a disgrace on the family. —Dr. Nori Graham, psychiatrist and honorary vice president of Alzheimer’s Disease International In this quote, Dr. Graham is expressing her observations and experiences in her work with numerous international organizations. Many patients and their families experience feelings of anxiety and shame upon receiving a diagnosis of dementia. Lynda Hogg, an Alzheimer’s patient, shares her feelings that “some people don’t want to be associated with someone with an illness affecting the brain” (Alzheimer’s Disease International, 2012). As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner providing care to clients presenting with dementia, it is critically important to consider the impact of these disorders on clients, caregivers, and their families. A thorough understanding of the health implications of these disorders, as well as each client’s personal concerns, will aid you in making effective treatment and management decisions. This week, you explore strategies to become a social change agent for psychiatric mental health. Then, as you examine the assessment and treatment of clients with dementia, you also consider related ethical and legal implications. Photo Credit: [Maskot]/[Maskot]/Getty Images Discussion: Influencing Social Change Individuals with psychiatric mental health disorders are frequently stigmatized not only by society as a whole, but also by their friends, family, and sometimes healthcare providers. In your role, however, you have the opportunity to become a social change agent for these individuals. For this Discussion, consider how you might make a positive impact for your clients and advocate for social change within your own community. Learning Objectives Students will: Apply strategies to become a social change agent for psychiatric mental health Learning Resources Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus. Required Readings Angermeyer, M. C., Matschinger, H., & Schomerus, G. (2013). Attitudes towards psychiatric treatment and people with mental illness: Changes over two decades. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 203(2), 146–151. Retrieved from bjp.rcpsych.org Bui, Q. (2012). Antidepressants for agitation and psychosis in patients with dementia. American Family Physician, 85(1), 20–22. Retrieved from www.aafp.org Note: Retrieved from from the Walden Library databases. Dingfelder, S. F. (2009). Stigma: Alive and well. American Psychological Association, 40(6), 56. Retrieved from www.apa.org Jenkins, J. H. (2012). The anthropology of psychopharmacology: Commentary on contributions to the analysis of pharmaceutical self and imaginary. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 36(1), 78–79. doi:10.1007/s11013-012-9248-0 Note: Retrieved from from the Walden Library databases. Price, L. H. (2010). Violence in America: Is psychopharmacology the answer? Brown University Psychopharmacology Update, 21(5), 5. Retrieved from onlinelibrary.wiley.com Note: Retrieved from from the Walden Library databases. Optional Resources Bennett, T. (2015). Changing the way society understands mental health. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved from www.nami.org Mechanic, D. (2007). Mental health services then and now. Health Affairs, 26(6), 1548–1550. Retrieved from web.archive.org Rothman, D. J. (1994). Shiny, happy people: The problem with “cosmetic psychopharmacology.” New Republic, 210(7), 34–38. To prepare for this Discussion: Reflect on how you might influence social change for psychiatric mental health.