Discussion: Influencing Social Change

Individuals with psychiatric mental health disorders are frequently stigmatized not only by society as a whole, but also by their friends, family, and sometimes healthcare providers. In your role, however, you have the opportunity to become a social change agent for these individuals. For this Discussion, consider how you might make a positive impact for your clients and advocate for social change within your own community.

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Respond to Martha and Pearl E by providing additional insights or alternative perspectives.

Martha O Main Post ( 2 citations and 2 references for Martha)

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Influencing Social Change

The role of social factors in the causation maintenance of emotional disorders has been time long-established. Social factors play a significant role in the development, evaluation, and management of mental illness (Morgan et al., 2010).  Mental health illness in some culture is viewed by people as a means of punishment for their immoralities thereby the family and community hesitate to offer help when their loved one have mental health illness. The reason being that they believed whatever the person is suffering from may be transferred to them if they offered to help.

Families worldwide with mental challenged family member are ashamed to seek for treatment for them due to the stigma attached to the illness by society. The stigma attached to this illness, makes it impossible for them to seek the needed treatment that may lessen their psychiatric symptoms and control the illness. Delay in getting early treatment can lead to serious condition or even committing suicide in depressed patients. The effects of mental illness may be temporary or long lasting.  Patient may have multiple mental health disorders at the same time You also can have more than one mental health disorder at the same time. Such as bipolar, depression, anxiety, and substance use (Levenson, 2015).

As healthcare provider, I will be advocating for the federal government to make mental health treatment free and accessible to all who need it. Some mental health individuals do not go for treatment because they have no insurance.  Taking a longer time to seek medical attention will compound to the seriousness of the illness.  But if the public know that medical treatment for mental health illness is free or at a reduced cost, then they will seek medical help at an early stage of their illnesses.

Education, communication, and having open discussion can make a lot of difference with the stigma attached to this illness. Having a face-to-face interaction with patients, along with their families by their side and answering their questions, and clearing whatever doubts they have, will also help a long way toward social change.  Most patients feel more comfortable to learn and comprehend better while they in their own comfort zone/environment.

As a healthcare provider I will make sure the patient is assigned a counselor or homecare nurse that will do a follow-up visit at least twice a month to facilitates compliance with medication and counselling. Assist them with most needed necessities that some individuals find problem with such as transportation to go for their follow up visits. The homecare nurse upon visiting can find out if the patients have transportation and other problems for their follow up appointments.   By assisting with all these problems, the patient will be encouraged to do his/her part about the illness.  A transportation token to assist with transportation will be provided also.



Levenson, J. L. (2015). Psychological factors affecting other medical conditions: Clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis.

Morgan C., Bhugra D. (2010). Principle of Social Psychiatry, 2nd ed. Chichester John Wiley and sons.

PEARL E (2 citations and 2 references for Pearl)

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The nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who has been authorized to provide a greater range of mental health services to patients who have mental health issues. A Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNP) is supposed to make diagnosis, conduct therapy and prescribe the required medications for the patients who are suffering from psychiatric disorders. These practitioners have been licensed to provide psychiatric services. They act as consultants and educate families on issues that relate with psychiatric disorders. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners are assuming increasing clinical responsibilities in the treatment of individuals with mental illness as the shortage of psychiatrists and their maldistribution continues to persist in the United States (Nesnera & Allen, 2016). Psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners are ideally suited to provide coordinated specialty mental health care for the homeless and other underserved groups with serious mental illness due to their clinical training, unique skill sets and perspectives (holistic, psychosocial, biological, and physiological), quality of care, and willingness to serve vulnerable and disadvantaged groups (Baker, Travers, Buschman, & Merrill, 2018). Given the fact that individuals with psychiatric mental health disorders are facing stigmatization, there is need to fight against it with all costs. Nurses have an expanded role to provide guidance in providing holistic mental health treatment. Speaking against stigmatization and educating the public on the best ways of bringing up children suffering from mental disorders is one of the best approaches of being a social change agent. Once the message of acknowledgement and treatment of persons with mental disorders is part of the society, the issue of stigmatization will be a thing of old and the whole society will learn to accept persons with mental illness. With advanced education and extensive experience caring for patients and their families, nurse practitioners are equipped to serve as advocates by providing a much-needed voice for patients, their communities, their profession, and perhaps just as important, themselves.

Advocacy is generally described as defending the rights and property of others (Davoodvand, Abbaszadeh, & Ahmadi, 2016). Advocacy is considered by many to be an ethic of nursing practice and is at the core of the nursing profession. Faced with an increasingly complex and fragmented health care system, patients and families often find themselves overwhelmed and lacking the essential information they need to make informed choices (Davoodvand et al., 2016). Such vulnerability is cited as a key reason for advocacy at the microsocial level where individual patient needs are addressed, and nurses are more directly involved in care. As an agent of change, I will encourage equality amongst people who are suffering from mental illness. By doing so, many different groups of people in the society will learn to appreciate persons with such illness. Moreover, organizing events that promote proper treatment of persons with mental illness creates the impression that they also deserve quality treatment just like anyone in the society. Secondly, advocating for mental illness reform and pushing legislators to pass bills that grant rights to the persons suffering from mental illness is another way help those with mental illness (Corrigan, Druss, & Perlick, 2014). This will help people to see the person and not the illness. Advocating for nationwide and global campaign against stigmatization is one way of creating effective policies towards protecting the rights of people with mental illness. The opportunity for NPs to influence boards and commissions can be far reaching because nurses are knowledgeable about a wide range of healthcare issues; possess a multitude of skills, including leadership, advocacy, and problem solving; offer a unique patient-centered, holistic perspective; and are afforded opportunities to influence policy, capitalize on consumer trust, and leverage nursing’s perspective as the largest health workforce profession (Kaplan, 2018). In nursing, advocacy has been defined as being a patient representative, defending the patient’s rights and universal rights, protecting the interests of the patient, contributing to decision-making and supporting the patient’s decisions, ethical-centered skills for the ‘professional self, and ‘being a voice for the vulnerable (Davoodvand et al., 2016).


Baker, J., Travers, J. L., Buschman, P., & Merrill, J. A. (2018). An Efficient Nurse Practitioner-

          Led Community-Based Service Model for Delivering Coordinated Care to Persons With

          Serious Mental Illness at Risk for Homelessness. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN

          PSYCHIATRIC NURSES ASSOCIATION, 24(2), 101–108.

Corrigan, P., Druss, B., & Perlick, D. (2014). The Impact of Mental Illness Stigma on Seeking

          and Participating in Mental Health Care. 15(2), 37-70.

Davoodvand, S., Abbaszadeh, A., & Ahmadi, F. (2016). Patient advocacy from the clinical  

          nurses’ viewpoint: a qualitative study. Journal of Medical Ethics & History of Medicine,

          9(5), 1–8.

Kaplan, L. (2018). Advocacy in Practice. Nurse practitioners advocating through boards and

          commissions. Nurse Practitioner, 43(11), 25–26.

Nesnera, A. d., & Allen, D. E. (2016). Expanding the Role of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse   

          Practitioners in a State Psychiatric System: The New Hampshire Experience. Psychiatric

          services, 67(5), 482-484.

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