It is important to have a set service standards and programs that ensure provision of high quality services in our health service system so as to achieve health care that is of high standard and beneficial to the people. It is for this reason that in 1996, the government of Australia developed the National Standards for Mental Health Services (Fenna, 2001, p.80). Ensuring that the standards were fully implemented provided an important chance for the improvement of the value of mental health care. The standards were intended to be used as a guideline in order to develop new services in mental health care or to improve the existing mental services ensuring they attained to recommended quality standards (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1997, p.68).
Additionally, the consumers of mental health services or their carers can use these standards to have a clue on their expectations from the health service (Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, 1995, p.78). These standards were developed to meet the National Mental Health Policy that the Australian government had formulated in order to enhance the treatment and care of all the people who were suffering from any mental health problem (Althaus, Bridgman & Davis, 2007, p.23). The standards lay a greater weight on the outcome of the patients with mental health problems and their carers in order to uphold their human rights and provide empowerment to them. The standards were set in agreement with the United Nationââ‚¬â„¢s Principles on the Protection of People with Mental Illness (Australian Health Ministers, 1991, p.67).
Among these principles are as follows; encouragement of the people with mental disorders to attain the highest quality of life as compared with healthy individuals, the positive outcomes for the patients of mental illness and their carers was to be the center of attention for the standards and the recognition of all the perspectives of the patients, that is, their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. These standards have served to improve the quality of care to the consumers of mental health services (Rosen, Miller & Parker, 1993, p.23). This essay critically analyses a mental health service on how well it meets the standards in their day to day activities.
Mental health service
CRS Australia is an organization whose presence is being felt in many communities in Australia. Presently, there is high competition for the limited job opportunities that our economy is able to support. This has led to a huge backlog of learned people in wait for job opportunities. Many college leavers are finding it quite difficult to secure that dream job that you have been anticipating for throughout your educational life (Meagher, 1995, p. 73). As a result, stress builds up and at times this has led to various mental disorders. CRS has come in place to provide a contact between the job seekers and the employers. It helps job seekers who may be having any disability or health conditions to acquire some job positions and also provide guidelines that ensure the job is maintained.
The job seekers are guided to break any barriers they may encounter in finding employment. The organization also works together with employers in finding qualified candidates for the vacant posts in their workplaces. Also, they offer technical advice on the safety measures to be observed in the workplaces and give assistance in the management of any worker injured on duty. It offers its services to any person who has the will and is able to acquire guidance from it. For the job seekers it has over 170 offices distributed across Australia where any person can contact them and he/she will be offered with the appropriate guidelines on what to do and how to get that needed job. It has helped a lot of people who are full of praise for it. For the employers it offers a wide package including guiding them to select the qualified employers and offering expertise in areas like risk and hazard reduction to reduce work place injuries. This saves their institutions from the high compensation charges that they may be forced to pay the workers in case they get injured during the work service (Allan, Briskman, Pease, 2009, p.77). Any company is welcome to CRS to seek its services which are offered without discrimination.
National Standards for Mental Health Services
These standards are grouped into three sections where the first seven standards are concerned with issues that are accepted universally concerning human dignity, the human rights of the people with mental illness and their acceptance in our societies. The next three standards focus on the organizational structure of the mental health service with an emphasis on the connections existing between different departments of the mental health sector (United Nations General Assembly, 1992, p.12). Finally, the 11th standard illustrates the care delivery process beginning with initial contact with mental health services to their final contact. We now focus on the first and third standard in relation to CRS Australia to determine how well the organization has worked in meeting the standards.
The first standard is concerned with protection of the rights of people who have mental disorders or mental health problems by the mental health services which they are offered (Commonwealth Department of Health & Aged Care, 1997, p.16). Compliance with the legislations and all the regulations by the staff of mental health service to ensure the rights are upheld is of importance and therefore given the first consideration. Application of this standard ensures that the mentally disabled people are not discriminated against in being offered essential services so long as they are in a capacity to work efficiently (United Nations, 1991, p.56). CRS on its behalf is entitled in ensuring equal opportunities are offered to job seekers when accessing job opportunities. According to CRS Australia (2010, para. 2-4), 20% of the population have an exposure to a mental health problem during their life time.
As an organization, CRS has experts staff that guides people in managing their mental health conditions in order for them to acquire a job or if they are in one maintain their positions. They have helped many people with mental health problems which are at often accompanied by various injuries some of which are physical and hence have caused a disability in them. With an inner understanding of the hard and tiring process of dealing with mental health problems, CRS has programs on disability management which are suited to job seekers. They work together to ensure that their clients are able to secure that job which they desire thus making it a reality for many job seekers who have mental problems a reality (Mendes, 2008, p.56). Once a person has acquired a job, there are sometimes psychological injuries that come as a result of the type of work that a person is doing. This result into work related stress which often cause low productivity by the employees, ever rising rates of absenteeism or job absconding, bad relations between the staff and the employees in the work places among others (Swain, & Rice, 2009, p.76). This causes a high employee turnover which is detrimental to an institutions reputation. CRS Australia has come in to solve these problems through its experienced psychologists, counselors and the social workers. The organization assesses the situation to find out the kind of assistance needed and determines the appropriate changes to be made in order to minimize the psychological problems or injuries.
In addition, CRS do take into account the goals and ambitions of the people with mental disorders in relation to their jobs. They are able to offer private and confidential information to the consumers of their services concerning their rights and privileges in their work places so as to retain their jobs. This is offered in a language that is freely understood by the concerned parties. In any case a legislative action is sought to resolve any tussle the consumers and their carersââ‚¬â„¢ written consent is freely sought (Myers, 1995, p.19). By so doing CRS has served and supported the welfare of people with mental conditions and illnesses and thus improving their wellness in the society. It also monitors their progress in their areas of work identifying any work related problems they are encountering and giving appropriate solutions and guidelines on how to tackle them. The act of seeking employment for them or the endeavors to sustain their employment ensures they are empowered to take care of themselves and this gives them morale. It also serves to curtail any form of discrimination that may exist in job acquisition process and thus upholding the rights of the consumers as described by the UN principles for the protection of people who are mentally handicapped.
The third standard for mental health services is concerned with ensuring the consumer of mental health services and their carers are involved in the processes of planning of the mental health service being provided (Commonwealth Department of Health & Aged Care, 1997, p. 19). Also, it ensures that they actively participate in the implementation and evaluation of the services provided. CRS Australia is tasked with provision of interventional measures both at the early stages and later after the injuries have occurred. It provides a platform where the consumers are involved giving their views on where they think should be improved so as to reduce their levels of mental stress (Wade, & Weir, 1995, p.99). The job seekers are taken through counseling sessions where their views are sought so as to help them find solutions to their problems. In the work places, the people under these services are also asked to provide their opinions on how to reduce the mental injuries that they are suffering from. They give their opinions which are then incorporated with policy guidelines to come up with in born solutions to the health problems. The consumers are in a position to feel as part of the solution to their problems and hence are able to adhere to the recommendations that come up (Andrews, Peters & Teesson, 1994, p.30). The MHS offered by the CRS is inclusive and supports a number of activities for both the consumers and the cares. It has evaluation criteria for the consumers to determine the level of support that they are able to acquire and what is needed to improve their conditions in a much better way (Rapp, 1998, p.79).
In addition to these, CRS is able to provide trainings to the consumers on how to improve their workplaces in order to reduce physical mental injuries which can heighten their problems. Employers do seek the services of CRS in promoting work safety measures through the trainings they offer. CRS is also able to monitor the progress it has made in ensuring equal opportunities for all in employment. In its efforts it is able to make workplace visits to assess the progress of the employees they are able to send to the various institutions (Rapp & Goscha, 2006, p.101). In case any deviation from the principles is noticed it offers appropriate guidelines in order to protect the rights of people with mental disabilities.
In conclusion, CRS Australia has been instrumental in assisting people with mental disabilities or injuries to secure a place in employment and consequently be in a position to maintain their places. The organization has been able to attain the specifications of the Australian government and the private sector in providing mental injury management, assessment and any other measures intended for prevention of mental injuries (Australian Council on Healthcare Standardsââ‚¬â„¢ Care Evaluation Program, 1995, p.50). CRS has been able to be in a position to attain the standards set for mental health services. With an emphasis to standard one which is concerned with ensuring equal rights to people with mental disorders and problems. By offering employment chances to the mentally handicapped, CRS is able to ensure the mentally handicapped are not discriminated when it comes to employment. This has served to empower the mentally ill patients. They thus are able to care for themselves and reduce their over reliance on their carers for financial and wellbeing help. CRS is also able to attain the standard number three of ensuring that the consumers and their carers are involved in the mental health service. CRS is therefore effective in provision of mental health service especially in offering employment.
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