Current Mental Health Event

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Storrie et al define mental health as simply the level of the psychological wellbeing of an individual (9).  Many people have issues as regards their mental health and it explains the presence of some amount of mental illness in the individual. People who suffer from mental illness tend to do things abnormally and they are mostly not integrated in the various communities and the societies as a whole. For example the case of a student in the University of Texas at Austin who stabbed four students is said to have issues with his mental health.

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The Psychological Perspective of Mental Health Issues

According to Bertolote, an individual develops through a certain trajectory and the dynamics of the path motivates them to be integrated and adapt to their environment (115).  This implies that certain undercurrents in the immediate environment of an individual influences their development and they may act in accordance with the course. But a person may fail in their attempt to acquire the critical elements of the regularities or the orderliness of their environment and this particularly account for suffering and dysfunction (Richards et al 249). This also sits well with the possibility of an individual to learn erroneous responses in respect of situations that confronts them and may ultimately face challenges in adapting to their environments. Under such circumstances, such individuals struggle to be integrated and they engage in acts that deviate from normalcy. Therefore the trajectory that defines the development of an individual whether born out of right or wrong responses inspires the demeanor of the individual.

The psychological perspective of mental health can be used to appreciate fully the stabbing incident involving the student of University of Texas at Austin (Richards et al 250). The accused person in the reported case failed to learn certain critical elements or might have learnt the wrong responses to certain situations that confronted him. This perhaps motivated his decision to act in that way and manner. As explained above therefore, his actions amounted to a deviation from the normalcy which is an indication of a clear struggle to adjust or adapt to the environment. It is no wonder that the decision to stab as many as four students connotes to a misdemeanor and defiles the orderliness of the environment (Keyes & Corey 220). However if the accused person had got the responses right or leant the crucial elements, he would have acted in a different nut more acceptable manner.

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Comparison of Psychological and Social Perspectives

It is important to note the psychological and social perspectives differ. While the former encompasses the development of an individual through their own appreciation and understanding of the trajectories of their environments, the latter focuses particularly on the extent to which people are socially empowered to identify who is suffering from mental illness or otherwise due to the underlying forces of the society (Keyes & Corey 220). Therefore the psychological perspectives may substantiate a more specific scientific concept but the social perspective deny the concept of mental illness especially when the mental state of an individual is influenced by social norms which actually differ from one location to another. The obvious similarities for the two perspectives infer that both the social and psychological perspectives help to determine the state of mental health of an individual in respect of their actions and reactions such as in the case of the stabbing incident.

Increasing Public Knowledge of Mental Health Issues

It is of the essence to educate the public on the substance of mental health issues as that is sure bet to ensure peace and harmony in our various societies. Witmer and Sweeny point out that one way to increase public knowledge on mental health is to constitute a body of professional with the responsibility of organizing road shows, door-to-door campaign and use the airtime of media houses to educate the general public on mental health issues (142). A rapid response team must also be set up to screen the public freely on the state of their mental wellbeing such that those that may be diagnosed of mental health may be treated accordingly (Hattie et al 360). However this may come with limitations as the people are likely to abandon the initiative because they may not be willing to turn-up voluntarily to be screened of mental wellbeing. But it is believed that an increase in public knowledge about mental health and predominantly through the proposed strategy may afford the public with basic skills to identify whether the people they encounter have issues with mental health and act on their observations accordingly. Such a knowledge could have prevented the stabbing incident since the culprits would have known how to deal with the suspect prior to the incident.

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  1. Bertolote, J. (2008). The roots of the concept of mental health. World Psychiatry, 7 (2): 113–116
  2. Hattie, J. A. Myers, J. E. & Sweeney, T. J. (2012). A factor structure of wellness: Theory, assessment, analysis and practice. Journal of Counseling and Development, 82 (3): 354–364.
  3. Keyes P. & Corey L. M. (2009). The mental health continuum: from languishing to flourishing in life. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 43 (2): 207–222.
  4. Richards, K. C. Campania, C. & Muse-Burke, J. L. (2010). Self-care and Well-being in Mental Health Professionals: The Mediating Effects of Self-awareness and Mindfulness. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 32 (3): 247–264.
  5. Storrie, K., Ahern, K. & Tuckett, A. (2010). A systematic review: Students with mental health problems—a growing problem. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 16 (1): 1–16.
  6. Witmer, J. M. & Sweeny, T. J. (2011). A holistic model for wellness and prevention over the lifespan. Journal of Counseling and Development, 71 (2): 140–148.
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