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25.1 Identifying Varying Types of Care

Community-based mental health services help to improve the overall mental health and well-being of communities. Community mental health offers services that vary according to the needs of the individual client. These needs can be affected by such factors as age, socioeconomic status, or severity of illness and include counseling, therapy, medication management, day programs, residential services, crisis programs, and more. Nurses should assess their clients thoroughly to determine their needs and preferences and develop a treatment plan that best integrates the two.

25.2 Community Needs

The mental health client in a community environment will have both physical and social-emotional needs that have to be addressed in a holistic manner. Physical needs include secure housing, health care, food, transportation, and potential work accommodations. Social-emotional needs are important as well and include emotional support, social belonging, empowerment, and coping and emotional regulation skills. The nurse should help the client develop a care plan that takes into account their own particular physical and social-emotional needs and available community resources in order to achieve the best results possible.

25.3 Programming in Community and Treatment Settings

The goal of community-based programs is to offer a safe, nonjudgmental space for individuals to share their experiences, connect with others who have similar experiences, and receive emotional support within their own communities. The goal of treatment setting programs is to provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals experiencing acute or severe mental health symptoms. Evaluating the appropriateness of using either a community-based program or a more secure treatment setting program entails a thorough nursing assessment and a treatment plan that respects the client’s individual needs and preferences and prioritizes safety.

25.4 Workforce Reentry Programs

A workforce reentry program is a structured initiative designed to support individuals as they transition back into the workforce after a period of absence. Some of the challenges faced by workforce reentry programs include overcoming stigma and bias, navigating participants’ skill gaps and the fast-changing job market, coordinating comprehensive support services, such as mental health care and housing assistance, securing sustainable funding, and fostering collaboration with employers. Benefits of these programs include providing individuals with the opportunity to acquire new skills, secure stable employment, reduce recidivism rates, and achieve financial independence, ultimately fostering community reintegration and economic growth. The psychiatric-mental health nurse can support workforce reentry programs to benefit clients by conducting thorough mental health assessments, implementing evidence-based interventions, collaborating with community resources to provide holistic support, and offering tailored coping strategies and skills development.


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