MEETING THE NEEDS OF MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE

Vida Gudžinskienė

Abstract


In this article we are analysing theory and practice in relation to the aspects of the needs expressed by mentally ill people. Political, economic and social changes pave the way for the development of the human needs. While planning and expanding Mental Health services, we need to look at the needs of the users of these services. Research questions. Are there enough opportunities for mentally ill people in X psychiatric hospital to meet their needs of self expression, while participating in organised occupational activities? Is the help from a social worker required in order for mentally ill people to meet their needs? Research hypothesis- psychiatric patients need for occupational activity depend on the meaningful activity. Research object- needs of mentally ill people being met through occupational activities. Goal of the article- to reveal the possibility of meeting the needs of mentally ill people, while participating in occupational activities. Aim of the study: 1) to reveal and identify the theoretical assumptions of the needs of mentally ill people, 2) to find out the requirements that psychiatric patients in X psychiatric hospital might have in relation to participation in occupational activities.
The needs of the people that have psychiatric illness are being determined during the whole period of hospitalisation, as it might change within time. In order to determine the needs of the mentally ill people various methods and methodologies are being employed, having one goal in mind- to assess the independence of the individual from the broader viewpoint of physical, psychological and social context. Independence and quality of a life of the mentally ill individual depends on the correct determination of the unique needs of every psychiatric patient.
Empirical research shows, to what extent the needs of the psychiatric patients are being met in the psychiatric hospital X, by evaluating social workers contribution, while working towards meeting the needs of the ill. Research shows that more than a half of the research participants are happy with the their needs being met with current provision of occupational activities; for the majority of mentally ill people, occupational activities help in self-expression, doing, what one likes to do, learning new activities, it reduces the feeling of being lonely and helps to find new companions etc. More than one-third was saying that occupational activities are moderately meeting their needs. Less than one-third commented that it is poorly satisfying their needs. Lack of economic resources, which are assigned to the provision of the occupational activities for the mentally ill, also human resources could be one of the reasons that is preventing psychiatric patients from meeting their needs. Research shows, that least important for psychiatric patients are the needs related to their self- esteem and improvement of health. Findings show that the role of social worker is being recognised by mentally ill people as an important one in meeting their needs, with participants highlighting the fact, that while in occupational activities, they have used the service provided rarely.

Keywords


mentally ill person, need, occupational activities.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SD-16-14-2-04

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789