Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Who may have a mental illness?

The first thing to remember is that time spent finding out why someone has come to see you may actually save you time later on.We know that many mental illnesses, especially common mental disorders and alcohol problems, are rarely recognised by health workers.

Health workers in a busy clinic will often simply accept someone’s complaints and give medicines for them. Thus, painkillers are prescribed for aches and pains, vitamins for fatigue and sleeping pills for sleep problems. However, this may mean that the real problem, the mental illness, has not been treated. Many of these people will keep returning to the clinic and will take up more time. Thus, time spent finding the true problem may actually be a saving of time in the long run! Besides, you will get the reward of seeing the person improve rather than keep coming back for more pills. The second important thing to remember is that it does not take a long time to ask about mental illness.

The key to using time sensibly is to be well informed about how to ask about mental illness, and this is described below.

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