Mental health has a key role in the maintenance of the interdependence of physical, mental, and social well being of an individual (WHO, 2001). Mental health problems are social, somatic, and psychological dimensions affecting every individual’s behavior, decision making, and perspectives in life (Brown and Lent, 2008). However, mental health is often times neglected in many parts of the world. At present, 450 million world populations have been suffering from mental and behavioral disorders like substance abuse, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dementia (WHO, 2001).
Most of the time, patients of these illnesses are not only taken for granted but even maligned and discriminated. These scenarios are even aggravated by the lack of mental health programs and policies of more than forty percent of the world countries (WHO, 2001). Thus, it is not surprising that mental-related problems have been one of the leading causes of disability constituting twelve percent of global diseases (WHO, 2001). Although the conception of mental health worldwide varies, it is generally accepted and as revealed by neuroscience, that it is more than the absence of mental disorders (WHO, 2001).
Hence, a deeper understanding of mental health and brain functioning are crucial in responding to the growing threat of mental and behavioral disorders. Assessment and Diagnosis In clinical practice, mental and behavioral disorders are generally classified as pathological phenomena characterized by impairment in the physiological functioning of the brain affecting emotions, behavior and cognitive aspects of the patient (WHO, 2001). In addition, the disorder, either sustained or recurring, should be a result of malfunctioning or distress from several aspects of patient’s life (WHO, 2001).
Meanwhile, the assessment and diagnosis of mental and behavioral disorders, clinical methods similar to physical disorder diagnosis are employed. These clinical methods require historical and medical background of the client not only from himself or herself but also from the collaborative details given by the family, school, community, and medical institution (WHO, 2001). This information will be utilized for further assessment of the mental health status of the client. In the recent decades, advancement in the medical science progresses as well as the clinical methods of mental health assessment.
Standard criteria on the evaluation of signs and symptoms, and well structured instrument of high validity and reliability degrees have been established (WHO, 2001). Furthermore, the signs and symptoms assessment for mental disorders are now internationally standardized which facilitated the accurate and reliable diagnosis worldwide (WHO, 2001). Since the selection of appropriate treatment depends largely on the assessment of the client, efficient diagnosis of mental health problems must be carried out (WHO, 2001).
Diagnosis is the crucial part of creating medical intervention on the ground that different disorders require different or specialized treatment (WHO, 2001). It must be expressed in terms of the type and level of disorder, and in nosological terms (WHO, 2001). Moreover, early detection of the disorder and intervention are of prime importance in the prevention of full-blown disease development. For instance, prolonged untreated psychosis in schizophrenic patients leads to poor outcomes of any medical treatment (WHO, 2001).
These are implications that an effective mental health treatment program requires a clinical-based integration of psychological, psychosocial, and pharmacological interventions (WHO, 2001). Psychotherapy Psychotherapy intended to provide aegis to mentally-disturbed individuals in coping up and resolving conflicts (Brown and Lent, 2008). It is a set of methodological intervention in resolving behavioral or emotional conflicts in an individual, a group or familial interaction. Meanwhile, counseling, often interchange with psychotherapy, was used by Carl Rogers to differentiate his works from medical psychotherapy (Brown and Lent, 2008).