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Introduction

Taking into consideration that the brain of the human is the central organ that helps in coordinating the whole body, any condition that interferes with the function of the brain causes an abrupt change in person’s mood and energy, thus changes daily routines. The person whose psychological health is damaged cannot carry out his/her duties well. This means that without medical intervention patient’s health condition could deteriorate further (Perry 6). The cause and frequency of mental health issues among the older population has been a predominant topic in the field of nursing. Health scientists and theorists have conducted various studies to establish the link between the age of patients and disparities associated with mental health among various age categories of population.

Perry (2006) asserts that over 10% of adults within the 65 years age group experience mental health problems and comparatively over 50% of people who are 85 years of age and above are likely to suffer from the disease (Perry 6). The findings about mental diseases among the population in Miami-Dade county in Florida corroborate Perry’s assertion. This is because all patients with mental health problems in the region fall in the above 65 years age group (Townsend 104). This paper seeks to assess and provide demographic and epidemiological statistical characteristics of the population with mental health problems in Miami-Dade county. Further, the paper assess specific needs of this population and how their needs differ from those of general population (Aldossary, While and Barriball 125). Moreover, the paper examines all available services, both secondary and tertiary interventions, and the underlying approaches that relevant stakeholders should employ to address the above needs.   

Causes of Mental Problems

There are several causes of mental disorders. For example, manic depression and episodes related to mania, brain disorders, and cerebral malaria are some of the causes of mental disorders (Marohn 136). In addition, mental disorders can be hereditary, meaning that if parents suffer from the disease, one of the offspring can suffer from the same (Marohn 155). Therefore, exposure to conditions that can make the person develop such disorder should be avoided at all costs. 

Diagnosis

Since BP1 is an acute manic and/or can last for several weeks, its effects can be severe, thereby calling for urgent medical intervention before the situation worsens (Marohn 159). Therefore, as soon as the person notices signs of mental disorders such as depression, change of mood, general weakness, and severe headache, he/she has to undergo medical examination so that the medical condition could be treated (Marohn 170). Notably, immediate identification would guide the process of medical intervention. 

Healthcare and Treatment

Mental disorder is a clinical condition that needs specialized treatment. Here, psychotherapy is the major treatment method that can be administered to the patient (Marohn 174). In such scenario, the healthcare professional specializing on mental issues, such as clinical psychologist, should be involved in an interpersonal intervention with the patient so that the information that the latter gives is treated appropriately. In psychotherapy, the medical expert can use distinctive psychological techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), to identify the disease and prescribe necessary treatment (Marohn 178). CBT can involve counseling the patient in an attempt to reverse the behavior. In addition, the medical expert can conduct psychoanalysis of the patient to determine the kind of medication appropriate for the person.   

Effects on Treated People

According to Townsend (2011), “the treatment of mental disorder, especially counseling, might improve the quality of life of the patient, perhaps leading to an immediate halt of the medical condition” (p. 122). Such medical intervention can reduce severe effects of the disease and eliminate other dangers such as death (Marohn 191). Therefore, it is important for the patient to seek early medical intervention before the situation gets out of hand.

Effects on Untreated People

In cases of untreated people, effects of the disease are far reaching and can lead to a permanent state of insanity (Marohn 193). It might also lead to the increased use of routine medication, with serious side effects on the body. Sometimes, the patient can succumb to the medical condition, especially if the patient does not get adequate and timely medical treatment when initial signs were detected on the body (Marohn 194).

Description of Healthcare among Different Population Groups

South Florida’s Health Council (2008) projects that the number of patients with mental disorders in America will grow proportionately according to the rate at which the population group over 65 years of age grows. This is in reference to the fact that in the year 2010, more than 30% Hispanics had contacted specialized institutions to receive professional mental health treatment. This rate is quite high compared to 20% of white Americans and approximately 10.9% of African-American population. Moreover, as the baby boom generation will continue to get older in the days ahead, instances of mental disorders are evidently going to escalate (South Florida’s Health Council 8). Therefore, the South Florida’s Health Council (2008) observes that disparity of mental diseases significantly grows with the increase of the age of the population (p. 17).

Healthcare researchers have established that in the year 2010 152.1 out of 100,000 people aged 65 and above living in Miami-Dade succumb to mental disorders. This indicated a slight increase from 149.8 out of 100,000 people recorded in the year 2009. The mortality rate in Miami-Dade in the year 2010 was close to the statewide average rate of 143.1 individuals out of 100,000 persons. However, this was quite a decrease from the high of 169.91 persons out of a 100,000 individuals recorded in the year 2003 (South Florida’s Health Council 22).

In terms of gender based mental health gap, research shows that more females in the elderly age group had died because of mental disorders compared to their male counterparts. In this regard, the mortality rate in the year 2010 was 179.3 for females, which was a slight decrease from the rate of 182.4 recorded in the year 2009. Comparatively, mortality of male adults in the year 2010 indicated a slight decrease to 103.8 down from the 105.0 recorded in the year 2010 (South Florida’s Health Council 24).

It is imperative to note in reference to the above evaluation of various components of the population in Miami-Dade county, that Hispanics register the highest rate of mental disorders as compared to Caucasians and African-American group. As such, Hispanics registered an average rate of mortality of 159.6 per 100,000 people, while Caucasians recorded mortality rate of 158.2 per 100,000 people compared to African-American rate of 74.4 out of 100,000 persons (South Florida’s Health Council 24).

However, in terms of healthcare service disparity among Miami-Dade county population, the Council observed that Hispanics and Caucasians have comparatively higher Medicaid access and other sources of healthcare insurance than their African-American counterparts (South Florida’s Health Council 28).

Needs of the Population

In reference to the existence of health disparities among people of Miami-Dade county, which has become a predominant topic in the field of health sciences, the focus on mental health of this population will help ascertain the presumed disparities (Perry 27). Frequency of mental disorders among the elderly in Miami-Dade has been significant in influencing the high disparity accolade to the county (Townsend 141). Frequency of mental disorders and mortality rates in Miami-Dade county are high enough to attract the attention of healthcare researchers across the world. Many people have conducted studies aimed at investigating the causes of the high prevalence of mental disorders and mortality rates (Abualrub 117). Additionally, cultural and racial differences among people living in Miami-Dade have also been considered as one of the major causes of mental diseases of population and healthcare disparity (South Florida’s Health Council 37).

According to the National Institute on Aging (2011), analysis of mental disorders among the population in Miami-Dade shows the disparity among the majority and the minority population groups regarding the level of access to necessary healthcare services (National Institute on Aging 1). Accordingly, the Institute has established that minority groups only access health facilities and thereby receive diagnosis later than majority groups. As such, African-American group is scheduled for health services significantly later than Hispanics and Caucasians (National Institute on Aging 1). As a result, it is evident that while African-Americans seek diagnosis 6 years after the initial emergence of the symptoms of mental disease. Hispanics seek diagnosis after a shorter period of between 4to 5 years, while their white counterparts seek diagnosis after a maximum of 2 years (Aldossary, While and Barriball 128). Further, cultural orientation plays a significant role in determining the level of healthcare disparity among the general population in Miami-Dade county (Abualrub 118). African-American group is culturally irresponsive to formal health services as compared to Hispanics and  white population, and this works to fuel the disparity (National Institute on Aging 1). This is a result of the fact that African-American culture is dominantly faith-based.

iven the prevailing healthcare gaps and disparities among various population groups living in Miami-Dade county it will be very challenging for it to efficiently meet the goals of Healthy People in 2020, which are aimed to significantly reduce the rate of morbidity and the underlying costs associated with enhancing and maintaining efficient care of patients with mental disorders (Healthy People 1). Further, the facts that even though mental disorders are perceived as one of the major death causes in Miami-Dade county (National Institute of Aging 1), and that these deaths have been under-reported, make it challenging for relevant stakeholders to focus their healthcare strategies on the significant reduction of frequency of mental disorders. This reduces the chances of attaining health goals of Healthy People 2020 (Healthy People 1). Additionally, South Florida’s Health Council ranks patients with mental disorders as the most frequent consumers of healthcare services, and thus as the number of patients with mental disorders increases, the costs also increase accordingly (South Florida’s Health Council 38).

Approaches and Interventions

In trying to promote and achieve necessary healthcare capacities to reduce the number of cases of mental diseases in Miami-Dade county, relevant healthcare stakeholders need to initiate sufficient collaborations to achieve sufficient improvement and implementation of necessary health programs in a bid to focus all efforts on Healthy People 2020. Various healthcare providers should enforce collaboration to facilitate improvement of available healthcare facilities as well as help provide the necessary facilities (Allender, Rector and Warner 27). Additional measures include establishment and furnishing of the required healthcare facilities and adequately managing facilities, such as day care units for adults, to ensure improvement of service delivery and reduction of the level of healthcare disparities among the population group with mental disorders (National Institute of Aging 1).  

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