Posted: January 26th, 2023
When politics and medical science intersect, there can be much debate. Sometimes anecdotes or hearsay are misused as evidence to support a particular point. Despite these and other challenges, however, evidence-based approaches are increasingly used to inform health policy decision-making regarding causes of disease, intervention strategies, and issues impacting society. One example is the introduction of childhood vaccinations and the use of evidence-based arguments surrounding their safety.
In this Discussion, you will identify a recently proposed health policy and share your analysis of the evidence in support of this policy NURS 6050 Discussion 1: Evidence Base in Design.
Post a description of the health policy you selected and a brief background for the problem or issue being addressed. Explain whether you believe there is an evidence base to support the proposed policy and explain why. Be specific and provide examples.
The proposed health policy I have chosen is the Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention Act of 2021 (STANDUP Act of 2021). The STANDUP Act of 2021 would require state and local agencies to implement evidence-based suicide awareness and prevention training strategies (Congress.gov, n.d.). Suicide ranks tenth in leading causes of death in the United States (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.). Many of these deaths could be prevented if more Americans had access to appropriate mental health care and varying treatment modalities.
There is an evidence base to support the proposed policy. A study was conducted in Denmark where, following an episode of self-harm, individuals attended various therapy, including cognitive, problem-solving, crisis, dialectical behavior, and integrated care (Page et al., 2018). Following these therapies, there was a lower risk of suicide for these individuals after ten years. It was concluded that 20% of suicide could be prevented after implementing these strategies (Page et al., 2018) NURS 6050 Discussion 1: Evidence Base in Design.
After working in behavioral health for five years, I’ve heard the struggles patients encounter when accessing mental health care. There are not enough resources, and stigmas remain surrounding mental health issues. Nationally recognized awareness and prevention programs would shed more light on this issue and help more individuals come forward to seek help.
Congress.gov. (n.d.). H.R. 586- STANDUP Act of 2021. https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/586?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22health+policy%22%5D%7D&s=10&r=4
National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Suicide. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml
Page, A., Atkinson, J., Heffernan, M., McDonnell, G., Prodan, A., Osgood, N., & Hickie, I. (2018). Static metrics of impact for a dynamic problem: The need for smarter tools to guide suicide prevention planning and investment. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 52(7), 660-667. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004867417752866
Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days by either supporting or respectfully challenging their explanation on whether there is an evidence base to support the proposed health policy they described NURS 6050 Discussion 1: Evidence Base in Design.
The health care policy H.R. 586 – STANDUP Act of 2021 is very intriguing. If this Act is passed through legislation where would it be implemented? Schools? Hospitals? Community based programs? All of which would provide a tremendous resource for community members that are struggling with suicidal ideations or struggling with the loss of someone. As someone who has lost a close family member to suicide, I would stand behind this Act especially as a health care worker living in an area with minimal mental health assistance. In my area we have some community-based suicide awareness groups that hosts walks, memorials, and time to share your story or show support for people combating mental health issues. As I previously stated, living in a rural area, our community members rely heavily on the internet and its recourses. One of the recourses I refer people to is the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (National Suicide Prevention Hotline, n.d.), because we have a couple of areas in my state that have direct lines, so you are able to talk to someone local, someone that can relate to your issues causing suicidal ideations.
As you have stated, there is a stigma surrounding mental health, especially suicide. It has been a topic for years that ‘should not be talked about’, which is unhealthy. This act would supply education and training strategies to people suffering, even if it only saves one life. It is better than no lives saved. My instructor for mental health during my undergrad required my class to complete the ‘Mental Health First Aid USA’ from the National Council of Behavioral Health because she felt, as I do as well, that mental health first aid should be as common as CPR (Mental Health First Aid, n.d.). If this Act can provide courses such as this to more people, we can grow a healthier community and eventually a healthy country to live in NURS 6050 Discussion 1: Evidence Base in Design.
Mental Health First Aid. (n.d.). Identify. Understand. Respond. Retrieved April 12, 2021, from https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/
National Suicide Prevention Hotline. (n.d.). National suicide prevention lifeline. Retrieved April 12, 2021, from https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Very informative post! I chose to discuss a similar policy which was the CARES act. However, vaccination issues are the latest topic that everyone is talking about, as far as COVID-19 prevention is concerned. There are myths about the vaccine because people feel it is not genuine, safe, or effective. I have heard some people in my community say that the vaccine might turn them into zombies! The hesitation to get vaccinated is an issue of concern, mainly because people want to get back to ‘the normal’ before the pandemic happened.
I think education regarding the COVID-19 vaccine needs to be done mainly for racial minorities. Most African Americans are hesitant to get the vaccine (Bogart et al., 2021) for several reasons, some of which do not hold water. The democrat who created this act should be reason enough for racial minorities to start having confidence in the vaccine. Furthermore, there is no way for a person to know whether the vaccine is truly safe or effective unless they try it. I think social media can be both a blessing and a curse as far as community education is concerned. My suggestion is to choose social media advocates to spread positive messages and debunk the myths floating on social media. Celebrities can play social media advocates very well because they have millions of followers who value their opinions. As nurses, we can also use our platforms to spread accurate information verbally and on social media NURS 6050 Discussion 1: Evidence Base in Design.
Bogart, L. M., Dong, L., Gandhi, P., Ryan, S., Smith, T. L., Klein, D. J., … & Bisola, O. O. (2021). What contributes to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in black communities, and how can it be addressed?
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I enjoyed reading your post on the need for more mental health access. I work in the emergency room, and we often have to hold patients awaiting inpatient psychiatric care. The emergency room is often a noisy and chaotic environment that does not help those already struggling with psychiatric care.
The struggle with suicide is not just a local issue but a global one as well. Close to 800,000 people die globally, which is the second leading cause of death for 15-29-year-olds (WHO, 2018). The fact that suicide is such a problem requires that countries create a national strategy to prevent suicide. In 2001 the United States created the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (WHO, 2018). The strategies in place nationally may not work for everyone, and sometimes, the individual plan must be put in place. According to Large (2018), the number one predictor to commit suicide is male, and number two is recent hospitalization for psychiatric treatment. People that have been diagnosed with mental disease are also more likely to commit suicide. There needs to be a better strategy to prevent suicide. According to Large (2018), some low-cost prevention efforts could reduce the amount of pain medicine prescriptions, substitute barbituates with benzodiazepines, place safety barriers in areas that could serve as jump sites, and reduce the amount of media attention on suicides. I am glad that Congress is attempting to pass a bill that will increase mental health access.
Large, M.M. (2018). The role of prediction in suicide prevention. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 20(3), 197-205. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.31887/dcns.2018.20.3/mlarge
World Health Organization (WHO) (2018). National suicide prevention strategies: Progress, examples and indicators. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/279765/9789241515016-eng.pdf NURS 6050 Discussion 1: Evidence Base in Design
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