The academic journal PloS Medicine is set to launch the first of six issues in a series that will explore the needs of those with mental health concerns, as well as those with careers in the mental health disciplines, in areas with little or no relevant resources. The series has been created in response to a growing need to address the problems experienced in such areas, as access to quality mental health care is low if not non-existent, and the use of any available services may face significant cultural prejudices and stigmas. Reflecting on the fact that over ninety percent of people experiencing mental, neurological, and substance abuse issues do not receive any treatment, the series hopes to spark new discussions on the possibilities for improving care and to introduce potential innovations in the quest to bring mental health care to impoverished locations.
The journal will open the series with a feature on the aspects of depression in parts of the world with poor access to mental health services. Subsequent features are planned for epilepsy, schizophrenia, alcohol abuse issues, dementia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As the series’ organizers hold that these mental health concerns constitute the primary issues for which many people may benefit from quality care, published pieces will ostensibly cover suggested ways to bring services for each issue to areas without treatment resources.
A focus on the potential of collaborative therapies that make use of general and non-specialized workers is expected, as is supporting arguments for a combination of medication and psychotherapeutic services and regular screening of at-risk populations. While the mental health professions are faced with a long road towards bringing services in low-resource areas up to par, the series may prove to be a valiant and useful effort.
Medical News Today (2009, October 5). How should mental, neurological, and substance use disorders be treated where resources are scarce? Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/166221.php
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