Mental Health Nursing: Holistic Care, Assessment, and Interventions


Added on  2022-12-09

15 Pages4149 Words101 Views
NCS2102 Mental Health & Illness
Name of the Student
Name of the University
Author Note

Introduction- Psychiatric or mental health nursing is a specialty practice that has
gained attention in recent years. While numerous patients suffering from mental illness seek
treatment from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health counsellors, the nurses
frequently play a dynamic role in psychiatric care delivery (Townsend & Morgan, 2017).
According to Ong et al. (2017) psychiatric nurses act in the form of experts during crisis
intervention, implement medication and therapy, conduct mental health assessment, and
provide patient assistance. The nurses also work in close association with patients for
assisting patients manage their mental disorders and live a fulfilling and productive life. This
essay will discuss several aspects of mental health nursing, in relation to an unfolding case
Holistic nursing care- Holistic nursing care encompasses a comprehensive caring
model that forms the core of nursing profession. In other words, the philosophy of holistic
care is grounded on the notion of holism that accentuates that complete health is more
important for human beings, in comparison to sum of the components (Kalb & O’Conner-
Von, 2019). Holistic care also considers the spirit and mind affect the body. In other words, it
is defined as a behaviour that identifies an individual as a complete being, and recognizes the
dependence on the social, psychological, biological, and spiritual aspects (Thomas,
Chakrabarty & DSouza, J. 2016). According to this concept of mental health, practitioners
hold the belief that wellbeing of the patients suffering from mental illness can be enhanced
and improved by an assortment of holistic, natural, modalities that range from music therapy
to acupuncture. According to Santos, Bashaw, Mattcham, Cutcliffe and Vedana (2018) the
holistic model also supports the notion that spirituality, nutrition, body chemistry, diet, and
other factors can influence the functioning of the brain in various ways. Thus, it is more
holistic than other disciplines because the mental health nurses demonstrate an inclination for
trying different interventions in order to treat the prevailing mental condition.

Contributing factors- Mental illness or mental disorders refer to mental or behavioural
patterns that bring about a significant impairment or distress of personal functioning. The
features of mental illness either get manifested in the form of single episodes or are relapsing.
These disorders are primarily outlined by the combination of how an individual feels,
behaves, thinks or perceives (Borsboom, 2017). This is often related with specific regions of
the brain, in relation to social circumstances. Mental disorders have been identified to result
due to an interplay between different factors namely, chemistry of the brain, environment
exposure and inherited traits. Twin studies and linkage studies have indicated that genetic
susceptibility to mental illness is associated with the heritability of behaviour characters that
lead to the manifestation of several phenotypes (Uher & Zwicker, 2017). Several mental
disorders are polygenic and can be accredited to defects in multiple genes that are responsible
for the development of disorders like Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. Under circumstances
when a pregnant mother is exposed to alcohol or drug abuse, foetal brain progression gets
disrupted that directly contributes to mental disorders (Weyrauch, Schwartz, Hart, Klug &
Burd, 2017).
In addition, environmental events that cause mental illness commonly include
maternal exposure to famine, trauma, psychological stress, infections, and obstetric birth
complications. In addition, impairment of the neural networks that involve the release of
neurotransmitters also disrupt functioning of nerve systems, thus causing mental illness.
There is a need to conduct physical assessment among mentally ill patients owing to the
association between mental and physical health. Disorders like depression and schizophrenia
have been associated with an increased likelihood among individuals to suffer from cancer
and coronary heart disease (Jia et al., 2017). In addition, schizophrenia increase the
susceptibility of affected people to die due to cardiovascular problems and also makes them
vulnerable to suffer from respiratory complications (Tajiri, Suzuki, Sugai, Tsuneyama &

Someya, 2018). This can be accredited to the fact that people suffering from mental illnesses
are less likely to access care services for maintaining their physical health and wellbeing.
Thus, a physical assessment is imperative for such patients.
Assessment- Some common warning signs that can be considered as a trigger for the
onset of mental disorders include changes in personality, uncharacteristic anger, moodiness,
and anxiety, isolation and social withdrawal, risky behaviour, lack of self-care, and a sense of
feeling overwhelmed or hopelessness. According to Staal, Panis and Schieveld (2018) it often
becomes challenging for the healthcare professionals to differentiate mental illness from
normal mental health among patients who find it problematic to manifest accurate symptoms.
Prior to analysing the subjective experiences of Hillary, Lucy needs to conduct a
comprehensive assessment of her mental health condition, with the aim of correlating the
presenting complaints to a mental disorder, and implement an intervention. A diagnostic
assessment is required to be conducted by the nurse, by taking into account the biographical
history, current circumstances, presenting complaints, and family history of the patient. The
primary clinical aim of conducting the assessment is based on identifying the pertinent
psychological, biological, and social factors that are creating an impact on patient’s mood.
The nurse should use the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HRSD) where the patient will
be rated by the nurse on 17-29 items, followed by providing a score, either on a 5-point or 3-
point likert scale (Wade et al., 2018). In addition, the 10-item Montgomery-Åsberg
Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) can also be used in the form of a diagnostic
questionnaire, which in turn will facilitate evaluation of the severity of the depressive
episodes that are manifested by Hillary (Zuidersma, Sjöberg, Pantzar, Fratiglioni & Wang,
A mental state examination (MSE) will also form a crucial aspect of the assessment
procedure and involve describing and observing the psychological functioning of the patient,

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