According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “ Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and is not just the absence of disease or infirmity”. Thus, to achieve or maintain this state, we can use different strategies framed by different domains. One of these areas of knowledge and application is precisely psychosocial intervention.
Before going any further, we need to understand what psychosocial intervention is. According to Alvis (2009), psychosocial intervention is a process that aims to increase the development capacity of the human being, the family and the community.
It allows subjects to exercise control and power over their individual and social environment. Therefore, it increases the well-being of individuals and their quality of life. It thus enables them to be trained by giving them the tools which enable them to face and solve problems and to obtain changes in the social environment.
What do we mean by mental health?
According to Oramas, Santana and Vergara (2013), mental health consists of learning about reality in order to transform it through the confrontation, management and overall solution of conflicts, whether internal to the individual or that they concern those with his entourage. When said learning is disrupted or fails in the attempt to resolve it, one can start talking about a disease.
Others like Rivière, in the same vein, say that “ mental health is conceived as the capacity to maintain dialectical and transformative relations with the world which make it possible to resolve the internal contradictions of the individual and those of the individual. ci with the social context ” (cited in Oramas, Santana and Vergara, 2013).
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual is aware of his own capacities, which can cope with the normal stresses of life. He can work in a productive and fruitful form and he is able to make a contribution to his community ”. While a person’s ability to manage conflict on a daily basis and transform their reality is important, there are other factors that are critical to mental health:
- Social context: situations of poverty, mistreatment, belonging to minority groups, etc.
- Family history
- Comorbidity with other chronic diseases
How to prevent mental illness?
Adopting healthy habits and prevention are essential to curbing mental illness. The latter is an alteration of an emotional, cognitive and / or behavioral type in which the basic psychological processes are affected.
Some of these basic processes are emotion, motivation, cognitive functions, consciousness, behavior, etc. This thus hinders the subject’s adaptation to the cultural and social environment in which he lives and creates a form of subjective discomfort.
Psychosocial intervention in mental health
Of course, mental illness in some areas is still taboo. Nonetheless, normalization predominates on the basis of a shared idea: anyone who is at risk of developing mental illness. It should not be forgotten that, as the WHO indicates, one in four people has a mental disorder in their lifetime.
Some types of mental illness are:
- Mood disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Mental illness associated with the use and abuse of toxic substances
- Psychotic disorders
- Personality disorders
- Other disorders: dissociative, developmental, etc.
The psychosocial intervention is carried out through 2 interconnected contents: psychology and social. We start with the individual by taking into account the whole of the social environment with which he interacts. During the intervention, it should be taken into account that the role of primary health care professionals is essential. This service is the closest and the most accessible to anyone. The referral professional can then assess and redirect the patient if necessary.
Of course, the coordination of the various professionals is essential to achieve an objective of this type. Although drug treatment can be important – always prescribed by a professional – we must keep in mind that psychosocial intervention also plays a relevant role.
This intervention must include social support, follow-up, support and social rehabilitation. The main objective of this practice is to contribute to the autonomy of the person suffering from mental illness.
The attention given to patients must be individualized and personalized. It is therefore necessary to take into account:
- The specific needs of the individual
- The support and needs of the family or closest entourage
What psychosocial intervention includes
Psychosocial intervention for people with mental illness includes, among others:
- Housing-related activities: surveillance, research assistance, etc.
- Daily activities
- Support for instrumental activities of daily living
- Monitoring and training in drug administration
- Training for organization and time management
- Training for social and family life
- Socio-legal assistance
Ultimately, even if we have come a long way, we cannot yet speak of a society that is understanding, tolerant and inclusive with regard to illness or mental disorder.
For this and other reasons, it is important to “encourage” other people who may need it to approach a group of professionals. Thus, we will be able to know all that a good psychosocial intervention can bring.