The Nursing Care of Mental Healthcare Consumers Who Self – Neglect

The Nursing Care of Mental Healthcare Consumers Who Self – Neglect
“How would you feel when almost every individual within the society treats you
differently by avoiding any form of interaction? Well, no one prefers to be treated that way.
Mental health consumers are more often marginalized because of their mental state. This aspect
can worsen their entire being and situation, which can propel them to neglect the self. By
definition, a mental health consumer refers to persons who use mental health services in order to
empower their mental health status while obtaining support or treatment. Evidently, suffering
from mental illness can be devastating to a patient and that situation can affect various aspects of
their lives ranging from their physical status to their emotional being. On the other hand, self-
neglect refers to the behavioral situation in which a person neglects or fails to attend to their
personal basic needs such as feeding, appropriate clothing, tending appropriately to medical
conditions, feeding or personal hygiene. Nonetheless, in extreme cases of self-neglect, the
situation can be inferred to as Diogenes syndrome (Townsend, 2013). Despite the severity of
self-neglect in a mental health consumer, nursing professionals need to care for them in an
attempt to improve their mental health issues. This presentation focuses on the relevance of
nursing care of mental healthcare consumers who self-neglect to modern mental health nursing
as well as to recognize the appropriate linkages with other mental health care providers.
In order to appropriately identify patients suffering from mental health problems, it is
ideal to identify the various aspects that help in identifying them or the factors that assist in
characterizing them. Most cases involving self-neglect are often recognized as a result of
numerous complaints received from several sources such as community organizations,
neighbors, GPs and healthcare professionals (Naik, Lai, Kunik & Dyer, 2008). The process of
managing and identifying cases is very complex and difficult, which requires a multi-disciplinary

NURSING CARE OF MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMERS
and multi-agency approach. Based on several studies, individuals with mental health problems
are often poor and indulge in smoking habits, lack exercise, consume alcohol, have poor diets
and consumer other drugs (Middleton, 2008; Richardson, 2007). The deteriorating state of their
daily lives often affects their energy levels, organization skills, attention, physical abilities or
motivation. The effect on the patient can cause them to neglect the self. Studies also indicate that
the side effects of certain psychiatric medications can cause a decrease in the motivation levels
among mental patients (Townsend, 2008; Gunstone, 2003). Therefore, self-neglect among
mental patients can be caused by illness alone. With the help of medical practitioners including
nursing care cases of self neglect among mentally ill patients re likely to reduce.
Notably, nurses constitute the largest population of health care professionals, thus, they
have a key role in the management and identification of self-neglect among mentally ill patients.
The relevance of nursing care to mental healthcare consumers in the modern nursing practice can
be identified through the assessment, diagnosis, outcome identification, planning, and
implementation and evaluation steps (Peate, Wild, & Nair, 2014). In the initial process, nurses
establish a database in which the database relates to the client using assessment tools such as
KELS, geriatric depression scale and nutrition assessment (Pickens et al., 2007). The next
process involves identifying the patients’ health care needs as well as the specific goals for care.
The third process involves establishment of the specific criteria that measures the achievement of
anticipated outcomes while the forth process involves designing the most appropriate strategy
that facilitates the achievement of the desired goals. The implementation process involves
initiating and finishing actions that are necessary in accomplishing goals as the final process
involves determination of the degree to which the objectives and goals of the implemented care
have been achieved (Boyd, 2010). Through this sequential step, a nursing practitioner is capable

NURSING CARE OF MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMERS
of analyzing personal achievements in relation to providing care to patients, especially those with
mental illness and having self-neglect. The outcomes of this process help both the nursing
specialists and other medical professionals to identify the various steps that in deed help in
solving the problem of self-neglect among mentally ill patients, for future referencing.
Currently, the nursing profession is working towards providing holistic care to patient.
This means that other than assisting patients within hospitals, nurses also help patients outside
the hospitals such as acceptance within the society. With reference to mentally ill patients, they
are among the mostly segregated groups of people within the society. The nursing education
helps in providing additional knowledge to nurses and it is disseminated to the public by
informing them that mentally ill patients are just like other people with slight differences in their
ways of thinking and making decisions. Some of the interventions include adult protection
services, drug misuse rehabilitation, housing services, budgeting services and neurological
assessment among many others (Lauder, Anderson & Barclay, 2005). These shape the current
approach in providing care to patients by integrating friendly approaches towards the patients.
By dealing with cases of self neglect, nurses are capable of reducing the stigma that mental
patients receive, which in turn promotes their general well-being.
In conclusion, within the modern nursing field, practitioners are more propelled towards
the identification and management of self-neglect cases among mentally ill patients as a means
of preventing the reoccurrence of the phenomenon. Since nurses constitute the largest portion of
individuals within the health care sector, they play a chief role in ensuring the provision of
proper care to patients. In the nursing profession, taking care of mentally ill patients helps in
identifying the most appropriate ways of providing care. Treating mentally ill patients with self-
neglect issues helps in improving the health of the patients in general.”

NURSING CARE OF MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMERS
References

Boyd, M. (2010). Psychiatric nursing: Contemporary practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins.
area’ for mental health workers. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health
Nursing, 10, 3, 287-296. t
Lauder, W., Anderson, I., & Barclay, A. (2005). A framework for good practice in interagency
interventions with cases of self-neglect. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health
Nursing, 12, 2, 192-198.
Naik, A. D., Lai, J. M., Kunik, M. E., & Dyer, C. B. (2008). Assessing capacity in suspected
cases of self-neglect. Geriatrics, 63, 2, 24-31.

Peate, I., Wild, K., & Nair, M. (2014). Nursing Practice: Knowledge and Care. Hoboken: Wiley.
https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=xqXCBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA250&lpg=PA250&dq=Nursing
+Care+of+Mental+patients+Who+Self+%E2%80%93+Neglect+relevance++to+contemp
orary+mental+health+nursing.&source=bl&ots=a6pjAEpAMS&sig=XBJXGriVDaILTk
HpVefKU3FG_2o&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Nursing%20Care%20of
%20Mental%20patients%20Who%20Self%20%E2%80%93%20Neglect%20relevance%
20%20to%20contemporary%20mental%20health%20nursing.&f=false
Pickens, S., Naik, A. D., Burnett, J., Kelly, P. A., Gleason, M., & Dyer, C. B. (2007). The utility
of the Kohlman evaluation of living skills test is associated with substantiated cases of
elder self-neglect. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 19, 3, 137-


  1. Richardson, B. K. (2007). Psychiatric nursing. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

    Townsend, M. C. (2008). Nursing diagnoses in psychiatric nursing: Care plans and
    psychotropic medications. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.

    Townsend, M. C. (2013). Essentials of psychiatric mental health nursing: Concepts of care in
    evidence-based practice. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.
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