A. Public Health Approach to Mental Health A Public Health Approach to Mental Health contains must focus on a specific group of people, stress promotion and prevention, and address the determinants of health. A Public Health Approach must also place an emphasis on “assessment, policy development, and assurance” (Miles et al., 2010, p. 40).
B. Description of Disorder Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent emotions of sadness and loss of interest, it is also called Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression. According to the DSM 5. In order for a doctor to diagnose depression, a patient must show five or more of the subsequent signs during a time period of two weeks: “Depressed mood, loss of interest, significant change in weight or appetite, insomnia, decreased energy, decreased attentiveness, feelings of worthlessness, psychomotor agitation, and thoughts of suicide (American Psychiatric Association, DSM V 2013).
C. Population of Focus and Extent of the Disorder/Problem/Positive Skill/Issue in that Population Mental Health illnesses such as depression “affect college students and have been increasing rapidly”, which is why interventions are very important (Eisenberg, Hunt, & Speer, 2013). The issue in this population is that what may seem like stress could lead to depression, and unfortunately “mood disorders including depression are the third most common reason for hospital visits for adults within the age range 18-44” (Wier, 2009).
According to the World Health Organization, 2016 at a very extreme level, “depression may result in suicide, this should not be taken lightly considering that more than 800 000 people commit suicide yearly”. To emphasize the importance of this topic, I will state that “Over 90 % of those who commit suicide have a/multiple mental disorders (American Association of Suicidology, 2012)
D. Intervention Framework As mentioned in Miles et al., 2010, the four categories are promote, prevent, treat, and re/claim. Through health education and health promotion, it will be easier for students in the community to learn about the symptoms of depression, stigma and the variety of local mental health resources. Public health prevention can educate college students on the prevalence of depression as well as decreasing the risk factors in targeted group. Treatment is intended to provide one-on-one help and lessen the outcomes of patients who have been diagnosed with depression. The topic of mental health and specifically depression is enhancing the overall well-being while still acknowledging the mental illness.
II. INTERVENTION E. Data Search: In order to find an evidence based program that was relevant to depression among college students I browsed several reliable sources including PubMed, Google Scholar JSTOR, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. I struggled to find a program that specifically described college students dealing with depression.
Most of the programs that came up dealt with other populations such as children, veterans or they were programs targeting college students with both a mental illness and substance abuse. After several attempts, I found an article titled “Improving physical activity, mental health outcomes, and academic retention in college students with Freshman 5 to thrive: COPE/Healthy lifestyles” from the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Data Source: Melnyk B, Kelly S, Jacobson D, Arcoleo K, Shaibi G. Improving physical activity, mental health outcomes, and academic retention in college students with Freshman 5 to thrive: COPE/Healthy lifestyles. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. 2014;26(6):314-322.
F. Rationale for selection of intervention: From personal experience, I can attain to the fact that transferring from your hometown to living on your own and attending a large university is extremely overwhelming. Although I transitioned from a community college to the University of Arizona, I understand that several students transition to a university straight out of high school. Transferring from one school is a difficult transition and it takes plenty of time for one to learn to adapt to a new lifestyle. Along with a lifestyle change, I noticed that I began to feel irritated easily, I became less social and more emotional than usual, these emotions caused me to go into a stage of hostility that I’m sure many students experience.
I felt completely lost and lonely and began to feel very high levels of stress and it affected my focus in school and drive to continue to pursue my education, luckily I was referred to C.A.P.S. (Counseling and Psych Services) by a teaching assistant and was able to obtain the help that I needed. I did not fall into a state of depression although two of my roommates spoke to their doctor and were diagnosed with depression that same first year. I noticed that this affected their studies, which is why I think it is significant that there are easily accessible mental health resources for college students.
Most importantly, depression can negatively affect the lifestyle, beliefs/behaviors and overall well-being of students (Mazurek, 2016). There is also a solid relationship between chronic diseases and depression, therefore making it a far more serious illness (APA, DSM-IV-R, 2000). G. Intervention Content: H. What intervention focuses on: I. Intervention category: J. Intervention methods: K. Intended outcomes: L. Intervention Effectiveness:
III. CHALLENGES AND IMPLEMENTATION A. Challenges to implementation: Challenges to program implementation may include the lack of participation due to time restrictions or other responsibilities, transportation and the possibility that students may fall into a stage of depression at a later time in their college career.
B. Recommendations Community partners can also play a part to further address the challenges of program implementation. Campus health organizations, and local mental health organizations can all play a part to help avoid the challenges that I previously mentioned. Campus Health programs are easily accessible to students, therefore walk-in hours and appointments would help ensure that students see a health professional before or after their classes. For students who live on-campus, would not have to worry about transportation to and from the campus health office. Local mental health organizations can also play a part by providing online services to students who struggle finding the time and reliable transportation.