Mental Healthcare Services for Uninsured Children Case Study

Pages: 11 (3361 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Health  ·  Written: July 31, 2019

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
Fulfilling these duties and obligations as an adult with serious mental health problems can be a challenge.

Summary of the case

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In summary, mental healthcare has become a serious concern. Statistics show that up to 1 in 5 children and adolescents have mental health issues. The fact that mental health issues affect so many children and adolescents worries pediatrics practitioners. It is a serious concern given the fact that the problems may continue into adulthood and affect the welfare of those affected. Today, the problems children and adolescents face are two-fold: lack of access to healthcare and insufficient healthcare. The number of professionals available in the field cannot adequately cater to the needs of the over 15 million children and adolescents who need professional attention (Luthra, 2016). This is in addition to the more than 43 million adults who also have various mental health problems including 9.9 million adults who have serious mental problems. It is noteworthy, though, that some progress has been made towards expanding access to mental care in recent years. Increased access to mental care was one of the successes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While access to care has gotten better, the progress is not as fast as it should be. Many people still don’t have easy access to mental care. With recent school shootings capturing the attention of the entire country, there have been more conversations on the topic of accessibility of MH treatment in America. There have been calls to closely examine the current systems so that they can be improved. Further, legislators have become more open to exploring ways effective policies can be put into law so that they are applied uniformly across the board (Cummings, Wen & Druss, 2013). 

Proposed solutions to remedy gaps, inefficiencies, or other issues from a theoretical approach

Case Study on Mental Healthcare Services for Uninsured Children Assignment

Many solutions have been proposed to help deal with mental health issues from a theoretical approach, especially amongst children and adolescents. As far as access is concerned, the gaps that currently exist in infrastructure are mainly due to the socioeconomic factors that characterize the communities in question. Areas with higher household incomes tend to have better healthcare infrastructure that can support easy access to mental health services. Also, insurance coverage plays a big role in access. Publicly insured and uninsured children and adolescents tend to have lower access than those who are privately insured.

The economic downturn saw several learning institutions cut budgets for school-based health care programs. The budgetary cuts have led to reduced inefficiencies in school-based healthcare programs that would have helped reduce the differences in access that are caused by financial and geographic regions (Cummings et al., 2013). Further, even if schools were to increase their budgets, they would need more human resources to comprehensively provide the services children and adolescents need. Therefore, solving this problem will require increasing budgets to plug infrastructural deficits for school-based mental healthcare programs and hiring more skilled personnel to provide a comprehensive range of mental health services.

One of the ways geographic accessibility gaps can be addressed in areas with low-income households is to invest more in primary care safety-net facilities. The expansion of facilities such as rural health clinics (RHC) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) will ensure children and adolescents have greater access to mental health services. These facilities have a very wide reach. Almost 75 percent of counties have one or more of such facilities (Cummings et al., 2013). Given the fact that most counties in the United States can support these facilities even when they can’t afford specialty facilities, taking the approach of expanding these primary care facilities is an effective path. This is especially true in rural areas and sparsely populated small towns. Nonetheless, safety-net health facilities usually provide services to people with less severe cases of mental health problems. To effectively provide care to people with more severe cases of mental health problems, they may need additional resources. One of the approaches that can be adopted by these primary care health facilities as they seek to provide specialty services is the development of telepsychiatry programs.

Besides increasing the number of facilities that can provide comprehensive mental health services for children and adolescents, there is also the need for stakeholders to address the issue of shortage in personnel. Special attention should be given to healthcare workers who can specialize in the provision of mental health services to children and adolescents (Cummings et al., 2013). Incentives that can be given to attract such personnel include student loan forgiveness arrangements and grants for supplementary training.

Identification of a research instrument to evaluate the proposed solution along with a description of how the instrument could be evaluated

The evaluation of the proposed solution will take two methodological approaches: qualitative (to include interviews) and quantitative (to include questionnaires). The two methods are dependable tools in their own right and using them both will bring light to different facets of institutional and organizational interventions (Abildgaard, Saksvik & Nielsen, 2016). An archetypical design will be utilized to measure the results of the intervention and assess the success of the implementation process. This exercise will cover both process and effect and the metrics of success will be pegged on how much of the targeted outcomes have been achieved.

The evaluation of the proposed solutions will be made possible by ensuring that measurable outcomes are incorporated into the solutions and structuring the solutions in such a way that evidence of their effectiveness can be easily collected. The availability of such data will be useful when design changes are needed and when stakeholders want to improve processes to ensure better outcomes. The measurements will prove valuable when evaluating the effectiveness of the interventions for the specific mental health problems that children and adolescents will be treated for.

Interviews will be done as part of the evaluation process. One of the ways information will be gathered is through the use of a process questionnaire. The process questionnaire will have items informed by the IPM questionnaire but it will be specifically tailored to the issues related to mental healthcare for children and adolescents. The respondents will be given a Likert-type scale to respond to and the responses will be ranked from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) (Abildgaard et al., 2016). Each organization will forward at least two DNPs who will be interviewed. For big organizations where such samples may not be adequately representative, the evaluation team will do a group interview which will bring several stakeholders critical to the provision of mental health services for children and adolescents in the facility. The interviews will be done when the last phase of the implementation process has been completed. The participants who will take part in the evaluation process will be selected randomly but care will be taken to ensure that they are representative of the various service centers crucial for the provision of mental health services in the facilities in question.

The evaluators will utilize a thematic analysis to examine the interview material. They will develop a thematic framework informed by the analysis to evaluate the apparent differences in methodological properties between quantitative and qualitative process measures. The analysis will narrow down on the specific qualities of the proposed solution that have been highlighted by the data from the interviews. The evaluators will read the interviews comprehensively and they will gather all the necessary data offered by the interviewees that are relevant to the evaluation (Abildgaard et al., 2016). The primary goal of the exercise will be to note the data, insights, concerns, and proposals that can be used to improve the efficacy and efficiency of the mental health services provided by the health facilities under review.

Conclusion

Urgent action must be taken to expand access to mental healthcare services for children and adolescents. The proposals made above are necessary but they are not sufficient. A lot more can be done to expand access and to improve the quality of care. Change has to start at the local and state level. While federal government efforts are effective at improving access, some of the problems that hinder access can only be addressed locally by local and state governments and organizations. Further, local organizations and governments understand local structural problems such as personnel shortage better than the federal government does.

Part of expanding access and improving the quality of care is changing stakeholders’ attitudes towards mental health services. Research shows that beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge play a big role in shaping mental health issues and how they affect the general public, including children and adolescents. The big number of the children and adolescents who don’t seek professional help for their conditions is made possible by the attitudes of parents who believe that their children don’t need such services even when such services would be a lifesaver. To change people’s attitudes,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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