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How to Create Change in Mental Health Organizations

— April 27, 2021

The American Psychiatric Association came up with a collaborative care model to bring the necessary change in the workings of the health care organizations.

Mental health is becoming increasingly complex and hard to navigate. Why? For starters, the pandemic has pushed a lot of people into a mental state of depression and anxiety of the unknown. A lot of mental health organizations came with patients during the pandemic who came complaining that they felt lost and alone in the lockdown. Which is valid. A lot of people were isolated for a long time during the covid lockdown and social distancing and that was bound to take a toll on people’s mental well-being.

Mental Health Today in the Pandemic!

The question then arises, were the mental health organizations ready to receive an outbreak of patients suffering from mental illnesses in this pandemic? With the pandemic, and generally with mental health awareness among Millennials and Generation Z, the network of accountability has widened for mental health organizations.

Therefore, today change is necessary for mental health organizations. And this pandemic gave the necessary push, to make these organizations understand that not only change is necessary but inevitable.

What does Mental Health Mean Exactly?

Mental Health refers to the illnesses that affect the individual’s ability to function normally or take care of their tasks as they normally would. The following are the few most common forms of mental illnesses found today

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability (Extreme level that can affect one’s ability to work)
  • Social Isolation
  • ADHD or Lack of Focus

These are the names of only a few mental illnesses, the list practically goes longer than one can imagine.

How to Create Change in Mental Health Organizations?

The increasing awareness of mental health among people and their acceptance to get themselves treated only gives a plus point to mental health organizations to bring about the necessary change in their organizations. The change should include strategies to address the following:

  • The medical staff is the first one to resist change. Strategies must be formulated to explore the basis of resistance of medical staff and explore the reasons and solutions to come with a strategy.
  • The clinic system needs change in terms of planning and preparations. This can only happen by engaging all the staff and practitioners or clinicians in the change process.
  • Health organizations should come up with several management models to understand the process of change and facilitate it.

Various blogs are addressing major health concerns to bring about a change in health organizations, like odyssey online does this whole feature on health and wellness to raise a voice for the mental wellbeing of people during the pandemic.

There are several other medical organizations, who are taking it upon themselves to address the concerns and are working towards bringing about necessary changes. The reality is, with the pandemic, it has become crucial to manage people’s mental well-being more so now, than before.

Patients of UCLA Doctor Refuse to Settle Assault Allegations
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

Why do We Need a Change in Health Care Organizations?

Whether it’s the US, Canada, China, or Pakistan, the health care system of many countries is broken and this pandemic brought this broken system to the limelight in the year 2020.

A lot of people suffered at the hand of hospitals not having enough space, staff, or resources for that matter. Every hospital was struggling in some way or the other to treat patients effectively, but due to the lack of change management in hospitals, many people suffered and even lost their lives, to be honest.

Due to all this pandemic chaos, not only did the patients suffer but many health care providers also went into depression not understanding what was happening, or how they were supposed to accommodate for the mishaps and misfortunes of not having enough space or the right medicine, etc.

A lot of doctors went into mental distress as it was frustrating for them, that they were not able to diagnose patients earlier, and even when they were able to, they were not able to treat them.

The immediate change recommended by American Psychiatric Association outlined a few steps to bring change in the health organization as soon as possible. The following points were outlined:

  • Since health care workers are front liners in a hospital, they should be provided with a sufficient amount of support, appropriate personal protective equipment, and mental health support. As the saying goes, even the best of us needs help.
  • Telepsychiatry should be made a norm. Insurers should pay for it. Given that during the pandemic not everyone could visit clinics and seek treatment for their mental health, diagnosis and treatment over the phone became a necessity and should be supported by insurance companies.
  • Mental health is still unfortunately treated as a secondary problem. This is wrong. Patients’ behavioral and mental health needs should be treated equally with their physical health needs.
  • The government needs to release emergency funding to ensure that health care organizations, crisis centers, and local clinics are all equipped with the resources for treating mental health care problems.

Collaborative Care Model:

The American Psychiatric Association came up with a collaborative care model to bring the necessary change in the workings of the health care organizations.

How would this model work? According to this change management model, a primary care physician would work with a psychiatrist and a behavioral health care provider to optimize the treatment for patients with mental health issues. 

This is a team-oriented approach that can ensure the best approach to treatment for mental health disorders.

With this approach, patients can get high-quality treatments without compromising their mental and physical health in the process. Because what happens is, sometimes a primary care doctor would prescribe a medicine for a patient without taking into account what it could do for their mental health. So according to this model, physical and mental health care providers will be working together to treat a patient can minimize the impact on the patient’s mental health.

Bring in more Psychiatrists into the Health Care Model:

COVID-19 has shown the world that there has been a shortage of doctors. Who would have thought? Even countries like America face a shortage of doctors to treat patients. The same goes for psychiatrists. 

Not many doctors choose to become a psychiatrist and even if a few do, they are not as common as we might want them to be.

Since mental health is now becoming a rising concern and people want to get treated for it, it has only become necessary for the government to encourage youth to opt for psychiatry as their specialty, giving student loans or reducing their fees would be encouraging enough for more doctors to opt for this profession.

Bring in Resources for Mental Health Patients:

A lot of bloggers on odyssey online have raised concern for the lack of beds for psychiatric patients. And due to the rise of covid-19 patients, what little beds the mental health care providers had for their patients also went to COVID-19 emergency wards.


The mental healthcare industry is a mess and overlooked. No one figured it out until the pandemic hit us with full force. The government needs to bring out the necessary change as effectively as they could to the mental health organizations

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