The study is focused on presenting the different issues and factors pertinent to the violence in mental health services and facilities. To be able to achieve the said objective, there are different points that are needed to be given attention and meaning, for example the definition of the violence that can be experienced by medical providers and nursing personnel.
Definition of Violence in Mental Services
There are different medical conditions that can result to violence toward health care providers. Included in the said conditions are mental health, substance abuse and the combined effects of the two. In the study conducted to determine the characteristics of violence for recent entrants to acute mental health and substance abuse facility, results had shown that there is a high prevalence of violence within the sample population studied. Approximately 41% of the 171 individuals included in the study had been involved in incidents of violence within the period of 30 days. In the recorded cases of violence,
The study reached a conclusion that violence is prevalent in mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities but presented the significance of the bias due to the fact that data gathering was based on self-reporting, thus, violent incidents that the patients committed were understated. (Mericle & Havassy, 2008, p.392). Aside from the definition of the pertinent concepts in the topic then, the study presented the need to establish standards in the measurement of data related to violence within medical services. The main focus of the study is violence against mental health professionals. Significant number of nursing staff views the issue as an occupational hazard but the reality of the problem had been the focus of concern of authorities on the safety of the health care professionals specifically due to the effects of the violence which can range from simple physical pain to the worst which is death. Psychological effects cannot also be neglected since based on results of studies the trauma can be compared to experiencing crimes and natural calamities (Anderson & West, 2011, p.34). Risk Factors in Violence Against Medical Professionals The risk factors are also pertinent to the study specifically the patients’ tendency to commit violence and the health professionals characteristics’ that can fall victim to violent scenarios in mental facilities (Anderson & West, 2011, p.34). The patients’ tendency to commit violence had been explored by different organizations of authority. One of the main risks contributing to violence is severe mental illness of the patient in mental services. Based on the research conducted by the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), patients with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder have 2 to 3 times higher impulse to commit violent assaults as compared to other patients. But the percentage of people with such conditions is very limited that it cannot significantly alter the violent cases in mental health services. In addition to serious mental illness, the presence of multiple mental conditions can also increase the