This essay will look into the scenario of Cheryl, a 66 year old widow, who has been referred to the community mental health team by her G.P with concerns over her well-being. It will explore the possible needs and mental health issues that Cheryl may be experiencing and how a multi-disciplinary team could adopt the recovery model of care to support her.
As suggested by the National Framework for Mental Health the majority of people with mental health issues are treated by their G.P and the Primary Care team. The Framework also states that 9 out of every 100 people who contact their G.P's with regard to mental health problems will be referred to specialist services. The fact that Cheryl has been referred to the mental health team by her G.P suggests that there are concerns over her mental well-being as well as her physical health.
The mental health team know that Cheryl has lost a lot of weight since the death of her husband and she has stated that she has been forgetting to eat. The team also know that Cheryl gave up her job to care for her husband full-time during his battle with cancer. The experience of caring for her husband during his illness and his death may have been hugely traumatic for Cheryl. It is known that Cheryl worked prior to her husbands illness and had an active social life but, since the death of her husband, she has withdrawn and has become isolated from social circle. It may be that Cheryl felt she needed time alone during the grieving process but it is possible that she has found it difficult to come to terms with the death of her husband.
Research by McMurray, A and Clendon, J (2011) looked at a study, which took place in Australia. It found that the three most common factors helping people to achieve mental well-being were having good friends to share problems with, keeping an active mind and having control over their lives. The research also suggested that older people can experience mental health problems such as depression as a result of loneliness and social exclusion. Cheryl has not only lost her husband but she also gave up her job to care for her husband and has since lost contact with her social circle. As a result of the loss Cheryl has suffered she may feel that she has no purpose in life, has lost her sense of self and is unable to see a future in which she can lead a happy and meaningful life.
Research by Barker, P. (2009) suggests that there are a wide range of services for older people who have mental health problems. There is an emphasis on good communication and collaboration between the different healthcare professionals as many older people have many different and complex health and social problems. It is important that a provision of care that draws on all resources are available to older people. Services available include primary care, such as G.P's and practice nurses, secondary services such as community health nurses, home care, day care, respite care and specialist housing for people who require extra care. As is the case with Cheryl's situation, it is often the primary care team who open up a line of communication with other professionals and agencies within the multi-disciplinary team.
The multi-disciplinary team, who support many people living in the community with mental health problems, consist of G.P's, community mental health nurses, consultant psychiatrists, occupational therapists and social workers amongst others. Research by Norman and Ryrie (2013) suggests that the effective treatment of mental disorders is complex so there is a need for the range of skills and expertise that a multi-disciplinary team of professionals can provide. As suggested by Barker, P (2009) the role of the community mental health nurse within the multi-disciplinary team is developing as a result of a shift from the medical model of care, which is based on diagnosis and cure, to the social model of care. Mental health