Homelessness, a Path Way to Mental Illness
Health Promotion Project
Related Learning outcomes 1,2,3,4,5
Word Count: maximum 2000
Due date: Week 8: Monday 24th April 2017 (midnight Darwin time)
MENTAL HEALTH/ ILLNESS (TO BE CONSIDERED IN THIS ESSAY)
Topic: Public Health Project Plan: Health Promotion
Assignment Criteria: Choose a modifiable risk factor for chronic disease (this is recommended to align with Assignment 1, for example COPD- risk factor of smoking)
Prepare a detailed and innovative health promotion project plan for your chosen modifiable risk factor for an Australian community (Indigenous or non-Indigenous). This needs to be your innovative idea, not reused from a current or past health promotion project.
This should be in the form of one of the following:
- Education on modifiable risk factor awareness and/or prevention
- Modifiable risk factor /chronic condition symptom management
Your health promotion should include:
- A specific target group and community (for example Teenagers in Darwin high schools or men aged 50 years or above in Bendigo, students at CDU- this contributes to making your health promotion innovative)
- A brief outline of why this public health promotion is beneficial for the Australian population– how you anticipate it will improve health outcomes for the chosen community
- What your goals and aims for your health promotion are (review the SMART mnemonic on page 215 of Fleming & Parker 3E)
- You should identify which of the Public Health promotion management perspectives this falls into (primary, secondary or tertiary- see page 316 Fleming & Parker 3E)
- Outline the additional stakeholders, and community consultation which should take place- who this will need to include
- A specific original health message/ logo that you have developed to suit your health promotion (for example: If you can play you can play)
- An outline of what the health promotion activity will entail and how you will promote this to the target group (newspaper, sports event, school visit, radio- what will work for your target audience)
- An outline of how you plan to evaluate the success of your health promotion
**This is not medical surgical nursing- it is health promotion aimed at the community level- so please do not focus on pathophysiology. Any health statistics used for your assignment can be based on the overall Australian population (You may not find data for a specific suburb)
Homelessness, a Path Way to Mental Illness
Homelessness is not only caused by poverty. It can be caused by domestic violence, high house renting fees, substance abuse or even family feuds (Thomas et al., 2011). In Australia especially, homelessness has in recent years been a critical issue, to the point of significantly affecting the rates of mental illness in the same country. Merging homelessness to unsanitary practices further places the individuals at risk of contracting serious medical illnesses such as Tuberculosis. It is normal to find that certain homeless people become mentally ill after a while, while those that take the necessary steps to modify this risk live with a perfectly good mental state. The state of homelessness, sometimes due to despair, can be coupled up with frustration, anxiety disorder, low self-regard and even suicidal thoughts. It is imperative, in the state of homelessness, to stay cognitive of these other related risks, in order to reduce one’s chances of being chronically mentally ill (Chamberlain et al., 2014).
The Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders are indigenous in Australia, and by this sole fact deserve good housing just like every other immigrant living under a strong roof (Bailie and Wayte, 2006). During the 2011 census, 105,237 Australians were found to have no homes (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011). According to Homelessness Australia, forty-four percent are female with children. Exactly 26, 744 of these homeless people were Aboriginals and from the Torres Strait Island (Homelessness Australia, 2016). Still, statistics in 2015 stated that twenty-three percent of nationals living through special homes were of the same latter ethnicity. In order to effectively implement this health promotion plan to the target group, an asset-based approach is used. This promotion plan focuses on encouraging protective factors through bringing closer opportunities for better living and the provision of education in the relation between homelessness and mental illness among women of childbearing age (nineteen to forty-nine years old) of the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Island.
Target Group outline
This exercise will focus on homeless women, the age of nineteen to forty-nine, of the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Island ethnic background in the Northern Territory, Australia. To begin with, these are homeless women living under improvised housing structures, such as carton houses or sleeping out on the ground. Secondly, this group of women, each, has a family of their own, regardless of the number of children. All participants can read, as well as communicate in English. Note that they are all unemployed and not living under any housing support program.
The promotion of good housing practices will reduce the number of mental illness cases that are caused by homelessness. Because the first output of health promotion is supposed to be prevention, proper execution of the number of mental illness cases would significantly reduce (Thomas et al., 2011). This is because the forty-four percent female cases caused by homelessness would be eliminated.
Secondly, the women would have the opportunity to integrate naturally into the community, and the chance to make a life for their children. Unfortunately, these indigenous people do not always enjoy opportunities to education and making a career (Belanger et al., 2013). This makes them less competitive in a developing and globalizing world, as compared to their counterparts that have degrees and can secure well-paying jobs. This project aims to enlighten this group of women through knowledge of alternate means of making a living, such as through their art, in order to provide better and sanitary living solutions.
According to Thomas et al. (2011), it will bring a focus into Australia’s culture and diversity to create an even stronger and productive individual. The successful implementation of this health promotion plan will help to shift focus from the homelessness factor of the women to the growth and continued stability of the women. Aboriginal art and culture are considered very exotic by the visiting man, and this fact only is enough to turn around the economic status of any who possesses the skills. To the country, this means a boost in tourism and an enhanced richness of culture. It is imperative to focus on the strengths of these women, in order to bring out their spirit of dedication and to demonstrate to them that homelessness is a risk factor that can be dealt with (Mokaraka and Scott, 2012).
Children born to these mothers will be at a low risk of mental illness (Leis et al., 2014). The successful promotion will not only ensure that the women stay mentally healthy, but will also keep the children’s mental state safe. This means that the children do not need to suffer from difficulties during birth or from family violence and disconnect. These women will also be able to provide education for their children, given the different programs offered by the different community service organizations.
Mental health education is mandatory for the wise growth and development of any population. This project will considerably improve the access of data and any needed information by the targeted group. Through the distribution of simple facts on homelessness, as well as mental illness, the women will subconsciously stay aware of prevention methods and other symptoms.
The number of homeless cases will reduce, given that the women receive the housing support that has been called for. This implies that the women will live in better conditions, and will be able to curb any other related risks that would contribute to any mental illness at a later stage (ABS, 2013).
Health Promotion Goals
To provide to the target group ten facts on the linkage between homelessness and mental illness. This will provide a strong preliminary for the identification of other risk factors since homelessness is engraved by anxiety, poverty, low self-esteem, bullying at times and even thoughts of suicide.
To help the women to identify the root cause of their homelessness by going through different causative factors in thirty minutes, in order to provide effective individually designed counsel.
To directly connect the targeted women with organizations, like Homelessness Australia and The Greens, so that they can gain from their annual housing projects. These two organizations have dedicated their resources to eradicating homelessness in Australia, and have been deemed very essential in providing housing support and relief.
To discuss with the women the alternate means of earning a living in their disposals, such as exploring their art, and making items such as jewelry and aboriginal art pieces.
To enlighten the willing participants on the availability of government scholarships, for indigenous people to study abroad and wide, in order to become legible for more opportunities and to sensitize their own community.
Health Promotion prevention management perspective
This health promotion prevention plan is of the Primary level. The main aim of this promotion plan is to prevent the onset of mental illness in the target group, as well as in their offspring before it even happens. The mentioned objective is met by analyzing the cause of their homelessness, then developing a strategically designed model to fit each participant. This model will contain information pertaining to the individual’s identified causes of homelessness, and guidelines on how to cope each with each one. The promotion plan also includes lobbying for sanitary practices, even while living in make-shift houses. In addition to this, all the information that is passed to the women is also available in easy-to-read pamphlets, including the information about the homeless services organizations.
Stakeholders and community consultation
The local authorities in the Northern Territory. This will target the local jurisdiction in the Northern Territory, for the purpose of the smooth flowing of the project. It will also allow the project to run freely, given that all the licenses required would have been acquired.
A representative from Homelessness Australia. This is a crucial stakeholder in the promotion plan, as their role is to provide alternate affordable housing solutions to the women by considering the homeless women for upcoming housing support programs.
An Aboriginal councilman to work with during the project. His role is to provide a point of contact to the indigenous people, through their language. He will also provide knowledge on how to best approach the targeted group. In addition to this, he will also identify a common memorable tune, which will be used to give life to the health message through repetitive chants.
The health message below is meant to give a rough idea, at first glance, as to what the promotional project is all about.
“Goodbye Homelessness, Welcome Peace of Mind”
Health Promotion Activity
The activity will be dubbed, “The Mini-Health Carnival” designed around this indigenous community, by the community and having a focus on the community of the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Island. It is an educational activity, where the women will be dressed in their own special attire. Large placards reading the health message will be placed at the entrance of the room. The inside will have a large banner, reading the same phrase. The first phase involves socializing, where the women are to make a simple necklace, and mingle in the room, to exchange with a random person at their farthest corner. This will allow any tension in the room to rise, and give way to a comfortable atmosphere.
It also involves a bit of dancing, to a tune bearing the words of the health message. In the second phase, the present nurse provides an overview of the effects of mental illness and how homelessness relates to the same, focusing on maternal health. The Aboriginal consultant then speaks to the women on the alternate methods of making money, such as through making their art. The compiled lists of resources provided by the government are also mentioned, after which a signing up session is held, for those willing.
The choice of activity is meant to focus on their strengths, which lie in family and community. This activity is designed to employ the aspect of asset based public health (Evans and Winson, 2014). This will allow the participating women to internalize the process by being a part of the process, and also to create something that provides a relatable experience. If the group feels comfortable and in place, they will be relaxed enough to be able to give thought to adopting new practices, as well as giving feedback.
Health Promotion Evaluation
Monitoring the number of women who actually take a step to sign up to the provided programs. This will instantly reflect on the short-term effect the promotional project has had. First, it will mean that the risk factor, homelessness, is indeed modifiable, and the women have recognized this, and are making the first step towards changing it.
Collecting written feedback from the targeted women. During the exercise, the women will be encouraged to write down any questions and suggestions, and to drop them in a covered holed box that will be circulated. The number and nature of questions or suggestions asked will provide a clear evaluation of how the promotion was understood.
It is about time that the high rates of homelessness decreased, in order to reduce the risk factors of mental illness. Women from the Aboriginal people and Torres Straits Islanders can still fully live their lives, even under the burden of homelessness. With the help of organizations such as Homelessness Australia, housing support is available for those willing to fight for the opportunity of a better life.
The activities involved in this health
promotional project plan are meant to sensitize and educate these homeless
women, in order to have a generation of mothers with healthy mental states, as
this also translates to their offspring
at times. The identification of related risks will also help the women to know
exactly how to cope with the given symptoms of mental illness, be it anxiety or
ABS. (2013). 4735.0 – Discussion Paper: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Perspectives on Homelessness, accessed at:http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/DetailsPage/4735.02013?OpenDocument
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). 2049.0 – Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2011, Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Bailie, R. S., & Wayte, K. J. (2006). Housing and health in Indigenous communities: Key issues for housing and health improvement in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 14(5), 178-183.
Belanger, Y. D., Awosoga, O., & Head, G. W. (2013). Homelessness, urban Aboriginal people, and the need for a national enumeration. aboriginal policy studies, 2(2).
Chamberlain, C., Johnson, G., & Robinson, C. (Eds.). (2014). Homelessness in Australia. UNSW Press.
Evans, M., & Winson, A. (2014). Asset-based approaches to Public Health. A conceptual framework for measuring community assets. Birmingham: Birmingham City Council and University of Birmingham.
Homelessness Australia. (2016). Homelessness and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Homelessness Australia. Retrieved from: www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/images/publications/Fact_Sheets/Homelessness_and_ATSIv3.pdf
Leis, J. A., Heron, J., Stuart, E. A., & Mendelson, T. (2014). Associations between maternal mental health and child emotional and behavioral problems: does prenatal mental health matter?. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 42(1), 161-171.
Mokaraka, K., & Scott, S. (2012). Aboriginal women released from prison to homelessness. Parity, 25(9), 75.
Thomas, Y., Gray, M., McGinty, S., & Ebringer, S. (2011). Homeless adults’ engagement in art: First steps towards identity, recovery and social inclusion. Australian occupational therapy journal, 58(6), 429-436.