Sociological Model Of Mental Health

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The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights mental health as an important health issue through it’s overarching definition of health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (1)." Mental health can be defined as the position in which a person is at an optimal level of psychological, social and emotional wellbeing (2). It is important to note that these definitions are framed within a health lense and it is necessary to understand that health is influenced by broader social determinants (Buse et al. Health policy is described as the action of the Government to achieve goals within the health sector (10). Through an analysis of policy it is understood that it is influenced …show more content…

If the perception of mental health by policy elites are constructed through a medical model, where individual attributes associated with are seen as the basis of mental health This is because the perceptions of mental health are constructed through a medical model and this means that it is seen as an attribute of the individual and thus is not a policy focus (12). The policy shows a shift to addressing mental health through a social model of health, with an aim to address people’s perceptions of mental illness and the discrimination (3). However, there still remains an aspect of the medical model approach to health within this policy. One of the aims includes encouraging people to lead their own recovery and places emphasis on power of oneself without realizing the realities of the structure of society and its constraints on autonomy …show more content…

The aims of this policy, and other health policies, must not be separated from how actors interact within institutional and social structures. Social structures in the past have rejected mental illness as a health condition, leading to perceptions of madness and actions of abuse, thus resulting in minimal awareness and political action (Foerschner, 2010). There is a now a gradual of shift of acceptance, due to the change in perceptions of what is normal among the various actors in society. The agents in this case, are those who are able to influence changes in the social structure while simultaneosly having push factors for change through the structures themselves. In the case of mental health, the changing attitudes towards the issue have resulted in changes of policy framing, avalibility of services and awareness but these have in turn contributed to the change in societal norms and

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the world health organization defines mental health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
  • Explains that health policy is influenced by culture, power, and the interplay of structure and agency. the ministry of health introduced a five-year policy to improve the mental health and addictions services in new zealand.
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