Westhill is one of the most vibrant towns in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and it is estimated to be 11 km west of the city of Aberdeen. The population of the city has been growing at a higher pace. Statistics show that in 2006, the total population of the city was 10,392 and by 2016, the population has grown to at least 12,040 people, the majority of them being between ages 18 to 64. In Westhill, the majority of the population is aging. It is projected that by 2035, the total number of people who will be above 65 years will actually increase by 65% (Baker and House of Commons Library, 2021). The essence of increasing age in the Westhill community will be accompanied by increasing mental health challenges such as dementia and frailty that come along during the aging process (Hubbard et al., 2021). The older generations with such mental health challenges will require a high level of healthcare as well as practical and personal help. The high number of aging adults will require access to urgent hospital treatment and they need to be assured that they will be treated without delay (Salman and Sellami, 2019). Therefore, this paper analyses and discusses the profile of the geographical community of Westhill, in the context of mental health promotion among the aging population.
Analysis of the aging community in Westhill, services, and resources to promote mental health, prevents mental ill-health, and support people experiencing such challenges
According to Dunn et al (2020), there are at least 90,000 aging people living with mental health issues, especially dementia in Scotland, and the vast majority of them live in Westhill city. The majority of such community develops dementia in old age when they are already experiencing a series of health complications, especially chronic diseases. In Westhill, the key services and resources to promote mental health prevent mental ill-health, and support people experiencing such challenges are the integration of social and healthcare (Kinnear et al., 2020). The integration process is designed to enable old people living with the above health challenges to seek necessary treatment, retain an active part in the community and live long live (Hubbard et al 2020; Demou, Hale, and Hunt, 2020). As such, Westhill’s ongoing work on mental health issues will include contextual issues of engagement with the framework’s agenda.
How partnership working across services and agencies promotes mental health, prevents mental ill-health, and supports people experiencing such challenges
Partnership working across agencies and services plays a critical role in promoting, preventing, and supporting people who experience mental challenges in different capacities (McHale et al., 2020; Jenkins, 2019). Notably, health and social care in Scotland has ideally been integrated to change the way mental health services can be accessed and delivered, with much focus on supporting the target groups in their respective communities and homes and less usage of hospitals and care homes (Pearson and Watson 2018; Greig, MacKay and Ginter, 2019 and Mowat, 2019) The people who are not privileged and got affected by developments and through which much efforts are needed are older people. As part of promoting partnership in the mission of addressing mental health issues, the Public Bodies Act 2014 in Scotland provides an extensive framework through which social care and health integration are being handled. The integration authorities are dynamically needed to engage and extensively consult diversities of stakeholders with the goal of achieving outcomes and sustainability of mental health challenges (Serrano‐Alarcón et al., 2022; Ganie 2022.). At the national level, it is notable that the Ministerial Strategic Group for Health and Community Care has extensively come up with a critical look at how local systems undertake sustained and meaningful engagements in addressing mental health challenges and ensuring that such becomes a central pillar on how the services are planned and delivered.
Appraisal of contemporary policy, theories, and evidence related to the promotion of mental health in the Westhill aging community
In the mission of addressing mental health in the Westhill aging community, there are a series of mental health theories that are applied by the policy makers during the process of coming up with dynamic and sustainable policies. The common theories are humanistic, cognitive, psychodynamic, biological and behaviorism (Meer, Peace, and Hill,2019). In Westhill’s aging community, one of the policies that have been formed is the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum which addresses social and health integration and the series of consultations and engagement of partners when addressing the rising concerns of mental health challenges (Gallagher, 2018). The policy mandates that the representatives and carers of people will use social and healthcare services to address mental health cases are ideally supported by the local partnership. Such context is useful because it enables meaningful engagement with the aging population in their respective localities (Peitz, et al., 2021; Hartley and Henderson, 2018). The policy recommendations are usually delivered through a local partnership which includes health, local authority, and also the third sector organizations that plays a proactive role in the identification of local priorities which are related to mental health and engage in the development of timescale, work streams and implementation plans based on the needs.
Appraisal of strategies to combat stigma, discrimination, social exclusion, and promoting of human rights within a specific community
In Westhill, discrimination and stigma against the people who suffer from mental illness is a common concern that deeply damage leads to profound social exclusion. One of the evidence strategies to reduce social exclusion, discrimination, and stigma is related to a social contract with people with mental illness. The social contract will include acceptance that such people are part of the community and they require care and human rights like the rest of the population (Rodriguez et al., 2020). As such, evidence shows that a carefully coordinated approach that is mainly based on the usage of social media techniques has led to the recognition, respect, and recognizing of the challenges based by mentally ill people. International organizations especially the World Health Organization (WHO) can also make an active contribution toward the initiatives of better care and less discrimination through the context by indicating the need for national mental health policies and also giving the necessary guidance on this particular issue (Lasalvia, et al., 2019). Europe has taken a proactive approach to establish ways of promoting human rights among mental health patients through the signing of the Mental Health Declaration and Action Plan.
A proposal designed to promote mental health and wellbeing
The following is a proposal that is ideally designed to promote the mental health and well-being of the target community discussed in this paper (Peitz, et al., 2021; Hartley and Henderson, 2018);
- There is a need for effective social and public health interventions such are mental health promotion activities, housing policies, community development programs, and social support for the old age population
- Sustainability of a series of programs is important in achieving effectiveness. As such, stakeholders need to be egged and the continued availability of resources is important in the sustainability of mental health among the aging population
- International action is very important as it paves the way to generating and disseminating concrete evidence which is related to mental health, assisting vulnerable countries in the implementation of mental health programs, and enhancement of international collaboration
- More systematic evaluation and research are required to dynamically increase the evidence-based on matters of mental health and also establishment of applicability of evidence-based on various cultures and resources settings.
- Finally, intersectoral collaboration is crucial in the establishment of effective programs launched on the promotion of mental health. In this aspect, mental health outcomes remain to be the main objective especially when addressing the mental health problems of vulnerable groups such as the aging population which was discussed in this context.
In conclusion, it is evident that the mental health among the aging population in Westhill, a town in Aberdeenshire Scotland, is a serious concern. This paper highlighted the critical analysis of the situation and what actions need to be taken to address the problem. The partnership of various stakeholders is very important in dealing with mental health issues among the aging population. The integration authorities are dynamically needed to engage and extensively consult diversities of stakeholders to achieve outcomes and sustainability of mental health challenges. The governmental and non-governmental organizations need to take a proactive role in addressing this challenge, especially through funding which will enable different plans of dealing with this challenge to be addressed. More importantly, the international organizations can also make an active contribution towards the initiatives of better care and less discrimination through the context of indicating the need for national mental health policies and also giving the necessary guidance on this particular issue.
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