Nowadays, the problems related to the mental health of an individual have a tremendous impact on the development of the modern society. With such processes as globalization, internationalization, global migration, the pressure on individual and his life space increases. Culturally diverse environment does not leave enough space for being oneself and brings new trends of lifestyle, which in many cases tend to ruin traditions and natural surroundings of an individual.
All this creates a constant mental pressure for a person. Together with the growth of global trends, the world starts to fulfil the function of disturbing mechanism, which aims at human’s mental abilities to sustain the hardships of modernity. The research has reacted on this problem and offered a series of social research issues, which were explored, including the mental health and its external factors.
One of the external factors and issues connected to mental health is mental health law. The research offers and interesting book, which focuses on the way mental health is handled in England and Wales. However, this book is a valid source of information for other countries as well. Barber, Brown and Martin (2008) clearly state that there are a few conditions, under which mental health of an individual can be protected by law. However, these conditions have to be supported by the community so that the mental health problems of a single person do not affect other people.
At the same time, mental health law also focuses on the types of medical care, which are received by an individual with mental health problems. There are two common solutions to the problem suggested – psychiatric hospital or community environment. Barber et al. (2008) note that the practical aspects of how the people with mental health problems can be admitted to the psychiatric hospital with medical treatment are far from morality in most cases and require the assessment of emotional care beside the actual medical treatment. However, the law does not protect the people with mental health problems in these cases.
Beside the law, there are other important factors relating to the way in which the mental health issues are perceived within a society. The mental health issues are usually treated as a problem, which cannot be changed or altered. People with mental health problems are abandoned from their normal lifestyle and treated as psychos, which in some cases does not have a solid explanation.
Mental health is a problem for the whole community, and, very often, people with such problems tend to seek for the reasons and issues within the community itself. The companies, which become a working environment for mentally sick people are blamed for their corporate culture. Furthermore, the schools and universities, where the children tend to commit crimes in the state of unhealthy mind, are treated with anxiety.
Many researchers tend to study the problem of relationship between the community and the mental health of an individual in the wrong way. By excluding the fact that the community is the primary source of all experiences of a mentally sick person, the social research takes the stage of the outcomes and usually does not focus on the reasons ,which generate the appearance of the mental health problems within the individual in a selected society group or community (Pilgrim and Rogers 2009).
According to Pilgrim and Rogers (2009), the mental illness issues are usually explored by gender, race, and other factors of the cultural background of an individual. The authors list the social theories about mental health within the modern society and its impact on the individual. They point on the fact that the majority of these theories are driven from carefully selected cases of mental illness (Pilgrim and Rogers 2009). Therefore, it is hard to draw conclusions, which are generated based on such type of research methods.
There is a large degree of uncertainty about mental health of an individual and how it can be best addressed given the specifics of the modern culture and its peculiarities. Most authors agree that the uncertainty, which exists about mental illnesses of an individual, is a result of the different perceptions and attitudes towards the mental health itself and the extent, to which a mentally sick individual should be isolated from his or her normal way of life (Golightley 2008; Barber et al. 2008).
At the same time, Pilgrim and Rogers (2009) believe that the attitude and perception is not the only external factor beside the law, which shapes the modern reality related to the mental health issues. There are many other factors, which are derived from these perceptions, such as medical treatment standards, professional interventions, and even the norms, which guide psychiatric hospitals towards accepting new patients (Barber et al. 2008). All these factors, combined together, present a clear picture about the state, in which the mental health issues are treated by the organizations and institutions directly involved in the assessment of the problem and its results.
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The nature of mental health is, therefore, a complex issue to be analysed. Not a single factor should be taken into consideration, and not a single institution should actively participate in finding a solution to the existing problems with mental health of an individual within the community.
Community itself is a very powerful factor and a clear explanation of why the mental health issues have become so important nowadays. Work stress, environmental problems, the increasing speed of life in big cities is all very hard to bear for a single brain of an individual. Many people often feel lonely and alienated, which, therefore, creates panic and fear.
The emotional side of life, which is also studied by some of the authors, is also affected, and, therefore, the individuals are constantly striving with the destructive factors and interruptions to their normal and common way of life. Tew (2011) believes that the existence of societal factors, which create more stress and anxiety of an individual, is the sole reason for the mental health problems, which appear at certain times.
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Situation analysis has shown that the individual is more likely to get mentally sick when constantly fighting inevitable stress factors than when living a normal way of life (Tew 2011). Therefore, it is extremely important for all institutions to take steps in improving the conditions of life and work of all individuals and to preserve the natural environment of a person in the best possible way.
Mentally sick people do not harm the environment, but, in most cases, they are alienated and excluded from their environment. Thus, the process of treatment becomes longer and, in some cases, even impossible. The perceptions, which exist within the modern society towards mentally sick people and their abilities to recover, are not supporting the mental health issues. Together with the imperfect legislation and professional interventions, all this creates a rather complex system, which in general lacks morality in treating the mental health of a person with respect and desire to help and assist.
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Mental health is a problem of a whole community and should be taken from the community and handled within the community. With the support of the external factors affecting the development of mental health of an individual, the probability of solving the issue successfully dramatically increases.