Patients suffering from untreated mental illness can experience an array of symptoms and effects that directly impact quality of life. While mental health treatment facilities have always worked to diagnose and treat mental illness, they have now shifted toward a model that treats the whole patient in a holistic fashion, improving quality of life both during their inpatient stay and following their treatment. How does mental health treatment improve quality of life?
A patient’s treatment plan in a mental health treatment center encompasses not only mental health but physical well-being as well. All of the patient’s risk factors and diagnoses are identified and addressed to promote well-being. Adequate nutrition is designed and offered according to the patient’s preferences to encourage well-being as well. Another important aspect of well-being is regular exercise, physical strength, and physical fitness.
Autonomy and Control
Feeling out of control or as if treatments and activities are not optional can quickly diminish quality of life for patients. Because quality of life can be directly impacted by autonomy and control, mental health treatment centers have mechanisms in place that allow patients to have as much control as possible over their daily activities, meals, and treatment.
Self-perception plays a pivotal role in quality of life. Mental health treatment centers provide therapy and counseling to improve self-perception and confidence, teaching patients to love and believe in themselves again, which ultimately improves quality of life for patients. Patients with positive self-perception are better able to cope with problems and symptoms.
Sense of Belonging
Mental health treatment promotes a sense of belonging in patients by encouraging group activities and therapies and the development of individual friendships. Patients who take advantage of social opportunities and share with others are more likely to feeling a sense of belonging and the quality of life that results from it.
Patients who don’t get out of bed, don’t participate in activities and don’t develop relationships with others often feel as if their quality of life is low even if their mental illness is well controlled. Inpatient mental health facilities aim to encourage participation in activities according to the patient’s preferences; patients who don’t like large groups, for example, may instead choose to read, play cards with just one other patient, or learn to play an instrument.
The greatest and most influential element of quality of life is hope. Patients who believe their future may hold better days are much more likely to feel as if their life has meaning and purpose, while patients who feel doomed to suffer for the rest of their life are less likely to improve. Mental health treatment centers focus on renewing hope for patients suffering from mental illness through therapy, counseling, and group exercises.
Mental illness is complex; patients suffering from mental illness have hope for health and wellness in the future when they choose to participate in an inpatient rehabilitation program that focuses on the whole person. Professional intervention can go above and beyond treatment of mental illness symptoms to rebuild self-confidence, establish healthy hobbies and routines, and renew hope for the future.
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