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Q1. Discuss why mental health is a National Health priority in Australia.

Metal health is a state whereby an individual or a group of individuals can interact with each other as well as the environment in an orderly manner. It is a national health priority in Australia and was identified in the 2010-2012 NHMRC strategic plans with the objective of ‘support the development of evidence needed for effective preventative strategies, management, and treatment of mental illness and services for chronic and complex mental health conditions’ (NHMRC strategic plan 2010-2012). The Australian government was very concerned with the stigma associated with mental illness and in recent years, there was a high prevalence rate of the disease in the country (Richardson & McSherry, 2010).
Statistics by the Australian bureau of statistics indicate that mental disorder among the Australian people is so serious and each year the disease affects one in four people. It is very expensive to treat mental illness as the costs associated with the disease in terms of economic, personal and social consequences has made the national health and medical research council to admit that almost half of the Australian population will experience mental illness at some point in their life and classify the disease as a national health priority.

Q.2 Explain how the determinants of Health need to be considered in relation to youth and young adults (15-25 years) mental health as a health issue in Australia.

Mental health disorder is rampant among the youths and young adults in Australia. Research in Australia has shown that mental illness that affect adults in their adult life begin to escalate during these ages (Burns, 2010). Young people with these mental health disorders encounter challenges during treatment because they cannot easily get mental health services. The youths and young adults have unique mental health needs and problems considering that they are still developing and growing both physically and psychologically (Bogdanoski, 2009). Therefore, they require special attention in handling them as well as treatment. For example, young people with complex and unique mental disorders should be involved in their treatment. A quality life and a good physical health in young people can achieved if and only if good mental health is given. It is the responsibility of the Australian government to lead by example and handle this issue of mental illness among the youths and young adults serious (Shoemaker & Caverly, 2012). Considering that, these youths and young adults grow up to be responsible citizens and productive adults any mishandling of the mental health disorder will in one way or the other affect the country (Burns, 2010).

Q3 Discuss primary, secondary and tertiary health promotions in young people relation to youths and young adults (15 to 25 years) mental health as a health issue in Australia.

The aim of primary prevention is to limit the incidence of disease and disability in the population by putting in place measures that eliminate or reduce the determinants of departures from good health (Richardson & McSherry, 2010).
Though cause of mental health is unclear, hereditary evidence has a significant association and with stress that is associated with adolescent and young adults including relationship breakdown, unemployment and social isolation make them a special at-risk group (Fistein, Holland, Clare & Gunn, 2009). Evidence for primary prevention of mental health in Australia is minimal though (WHO, 2004). and this involves understanding and minimizing factors which heighten risk and enhancing factors which improve resistance to mental health problems, mental illness and suicide (Richardson & McSherry, 2010).

Secondary prevention aims to reduce progression of disease through early detection, usually by screening at an asymptomatic stage followed by early intervention for those with early disease to prevent eventual development of the disease (WHO, 2004). This involves identification of at-risk populations, people experiencing a mental health problem or mental illness for the first time and people who are experiencing early indications of a relapse or recurrence of illness (2008). Adolescents and young adults are at a high risk and therefore highly benefit from efficient secondary prevention since most mental health problems often first appear in adolescence or early adulthood (Shoemaker & Caverly, 2012). A multidisciplinary approach to provision of early care to those at risk or with early symptoms is required which include specialized mental health services provided though public, private and NGO support and involvement of other sectors including education, justice system (Shoemaker & Caverly, 2012).

Tertiary preventionwill involve improvement of function and includes minimization of the impact of established disease, and prevention or delay of complications and subsequent events through effective management and rehabilitation (Australian Nursing Federation Policy, 2012). People with mental disease have to access to the right care at the right time which should range from specialized care through primary care to community services option. Continuum of care should continue from health facilities to the community to ensure integration back in the society after initial episode and prevent further episodes and other associated problems including homelessness that affect mental health patients (Fistein, Holland, Clare & Gunn, 2009)

Q4 Discuss the involvement and roles of community nurses in health promotions that targets youths and young adults (15 to 25years) mental health within a community setting in Australia

Much of the effort in mental health promotion needs to occur beyond the healthcare system (Australian Nursing Federation Policy, 2012). Multi-sectorial involvement including housing education, employment, welfare and justice systems is therefore required to provide mental health promotion. The community health nurse is usually in a good position to provide critical support for health promotion in the entire health care system with appropriate training (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009)

Primary prevention:

Primary prevention areas of involvement of the community nurse would include in adult and youth recreational centres, schools, day care centres where they provide services that reduce mental disease and promote mental health (Shoemaker & Caverly, 2012). These could include counseling, crisis intervention, problem solving in individual, group, or family sessions (Fistein, Holland, Clare & Gunn, 2009)

Secondary prevention

Community Health Nurse is able to practice in a variety of setting where secondary mental health promotion takes place including public and private specialized clinics, outpatient facilities, acute health services, alcohol and substance rehabilitation, justice system, other primary care setting (Fistein, Holland, Clare & Gunn, 2009). These include crisis centres, shelters for homeless, correctional facilities, partial hospitalization programs and tertiary prevention including community mental health centres, psychosocial rehabilitation programs (National Public Health Partnership, 2006). Ellison et al in analysis barriers to access to psychiatric care found out that among trained community nurses, 95% were confident giving education for mental health promotion 79% were confident in ordering diagnostic tests and recommending specialized treatment and 54% were confident in prescribing drugs for mental disease conditions (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009)

Tertiary prevention

This involves provision of continuum of care services for chronic mental disease in order to provide coping with disease for individual, family, community and the health system. A community health worker will be critical in the entire continuum. This includes collaboration with carers, family members and other community health workers to ensure continuum of services from specialized facilities to community is maintained (Burns, 2010).

In addition to mental health, they also provide care to co morbidities that may affect patients with mental disease, stabilization of symptoms and return to the community (Burns, 2010).


Australian Nursing Federation Policy 2012. Mental health nursing care

Bogdanoski, T. (2009). Psychiatric advance directives: the new frontier in mental health law reform in Australia?. Journal of law and medicine, 16(5), 891-904.

Burns, T. (2010). Mental illness is different and ignoring its differences profits nobody. J. Mental HealthL.,20,34.

Commonwealth of Australia (1999). The national mental health policy

Commonwealth of Australia (2009).National mental healthpolicy 2008

Elson S, Hsppell B, Manias E, (2008).. Expanded Practice Roles for Community Mental Health Nurses in Australia: Centre for Psychiatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Social Work, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia., Vol. 29, No. 7 , Pages 767-780

Fistein, E. C., Holland, A. J., Clare, I. C. H., & Gunn, M. J. (2009). A comparison of mental health legislation from diverse Commonwealth jurisdictions. International journal of law and psychiatry, 32(3), 147-155.

Garnett, S. T., Sithole, B., Whitehead, P. J., Burgess, C. P., Johnston, F. H., & Lea, T. (2009). Healthy country, healthy people: policy implications of links between Indigenous human health and environmental condition in tropical Australia. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 68(1),53-66.

National Public Health Partnership (2006). The Language of Prevention. Melbourne: NPHP.

Richardson, E., & McSherry, B. (2010). Diversion down under—Programs for offenders with mental illnesses in Australia. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 33(4), 249- 257.

Shoemaker N, Caverly S. Mental health Nursing in community setting. Foundations for practice. Chapter 6.

WHO (2004). A report of the World Health Organization, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in collaboration with the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and The University of Melbourne

WHO (2004). Prevention of mental disorders: Effective interventions and policy options : summary report/report of the World Health Organization Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse ; in collaboration with the Prevention Research Centre of the Universities of Nijmegen and Maastricht.

WHO( 2007). Atlas: Nurses in mental health 2007. World Health. Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland