8732 words 35 pages

Understand mental health problems (CMH 302)

Assessment of this unit
This unit introduces the main forms of mental health problems. You will be expected to know the strengths and limitations of the main psychiatric classifications systems and have a working knowledge of alternative frameworks for understanding mental distress. The unit also looks at the ways that mental health problems affect the individual and others in their social network, and considers the benefits of early intervention in promoting mental health and wellbeing. You will need to: ▶ know the main forms of mental illness ▶ consider the impact of mental ill health on individuals and others in their social network. The assessment of this unit is entirely
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The World Health Organization defines ‘mental health’, in a report on promoting mental health, as: ‘a state of wellbeing in which the individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’ (WHO, 2005) In contrast, mental illness is associated with abnormal psychological and emotional experiences and behaviour that is not recognised as being either a part of normal individual development or the cultural norms of a given society. A number of other terms are also used to describe ‘mental illness’, including: ▶ mental disorder ▶ mental health problems ▶ mental distress ▶ mental ill health. Mental illness is divided into a range of disorders within psychiatric systems of classification. As we shall see, these psychiatric systems have both strengths and weaknesses.

How do people in your work setting refer to mental ill health? Are local or slang terms sometimes used to describe people’s experiences of mental ill health? Are these negative about or critical of the person’s experience?

What is the Mental Health Act 2007? Find out using the internet or information available in your workplace.

Key terms

Psychiatric: the branch of medicine dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness


What are the main forms of mental ill health?

Classifications of mental illness


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