Mental health is defined as a psychological state whereby the individual’s wellbeing is considered. Mental health includes the individual’s ability to enjoy different aspects of life with a major balance on the activities that the individual goes through in day to day life. The profound consideration on the individual’s social wellbeing is the main duty of mental health. In Australia, the economic cost of mental health has gradual remained high with high recording of approximately $4.6 million spend in 2006-2007 only. The cost of employing the workforce has been estimated to take 30million days but compared to the threat of mental illness the government of Australia has intensified the fight towards reducing mental illness cases.
The shift by the Australian society from an institutionalized care for patients with mental illness has greatly supported the mental health care sector. The need for services has relatively remained high but the society’s approach towards mental health care is greatly changing through out time. Families and communities have participated in service models in instances with inadequate work force. In the said models of care in the communities have helped in emphasizing greater attention to ensure personal recovery. The recovery programs have maximized in hope restoring in the mental ill patients.
Characteristics of the workforce in the chosen
The biggest challenge to mental health care in Australia has been the inadequacy of the workforce. The sole role of improving the Australian mental workforce squarely relies on the government of Australia. Despite the spirited efforts by the government to improve the mental health by increasing the workforce, many private, public and NGO’s have lacked the desired workforce. The mental health work force has operated for overtime with unnecessary pressure. The services offered by the workforce are very important and they mainly range from hospitalization and psychological rehabilitation which requires specialized workforce. The main stumbling block in ascertaining the different mental health services workforce has since been funding by different departments of the government. It therefore remains hard to understand the distribution and the exact size of mental health workforce.
Strategies of addressing the workforce issues
The nurses in the mental health sector are given a special training which slightly distinguishes them from the normal nurses. They work in the health facilities which are manned by different government departments. The number of mental health care nurses has remained the same and they are forced to work for long hours. This has been caused by the national shortage of nurses for mental healthcare provision. There is also a major scarcity of nurses in the rural areas. The cities are relatively staffed moderately compared to the rural places. The mentoring required to mentor and develop the profession is lacking. On the other hand the psychiatrists are very few and majorly in public and private sector but very few in the private sector. The reliable literature points out that there is a great shortage of healthcare physiatrists. The available practitioners are nearing retirement age but there are no replacements
The government should use different strategies to curb the issue of physiatrists shifting to the private sector. This can be done by increasing the salary of the psychiatrists and giving other incentives. The recruiting programs of young psychiatrists can also help in curbing the vacuum created once the practicing practitioners retire.
The mental health can be boosted by the government employing new practitioners to fill the vacuum. There are other strategies that the government should employ to make sure that the available nurses, psychiatrists and other medical practitioners.
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