Vol 4-2 Opinion Article

Streaming Mental Health Consumers Based on Clinical and Psychosocial Needs

Dinesh K Arya*

ACT Health, 2 Bowes Street, Woden, ACT 2606, Australia

The challenge for mental health services is to ensure that available resources are able to meet the needs of mental health consumers. It is useful to develop a staff resourcing model that is based entirely on the identification of mental health needs of consumers. Such a model has the potential to ensure that available mental health staffing resources are not wasted and mental health consumers receive an appropriate level of mental health support.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/2.1199 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-2 Opinion Article

Targeted Population-wide Mental Health Support is Essential During COVID-19 Pandemic

Dinesh K Arya*

Yarralumla, Australia

To manage COVID-19 pandemic, most nations have been proactive in introducing wide-ranging measures to prevent its spread, as well as to support the economy. During this pandemic, almost the entire population has been impacted by quarantine and social isolation-related restrictions. It is this aspect that makes this pandemic different from other recent disasters.

It is essential that appropriate mental health support is targeted to support people with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infections, as well as for the health professionals caring for this cohort. During the pandemic it is also essential that access to appropriate mental health support for those experiencing mental disorders is increased, and that appropriate psychosocial support is available for those experiencing financial hardship resulting from quarantine and social isolation-related restrictions so that they can sustain themselves.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/2.1201 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-2 Original Research Article

Subjective Health and Happiness in the United States: Gender Differences in the Effects of Socioeconomic Status Indicators

Najmeh Maharlouei1,3, Sharon Cobb2, Mohsen Bazargan3,4, Shervin Assari3*

1 Health Policy Research Center, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 School of Nursing, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA

3 Department of Family Medicine, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA

4 Department of Family Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Background: Education, employment, and marital status are among the main socioeconomic status (SES) indicators that are associated with subjective health and happiness. The effects of these SES indicators may, however, be different for various demographic groups.

Aims: To understand if SES indicators differently impact men and women, we tested gender differences in the effects of education, employment, and marital status on the subjective health and happiness of American adults.

Methods: This cross-sectional study used data of the General Social Survey (GSS), a series of nationally representative surveys between 1972 and 2018 in the US. Our analytical sample included 65,814 adults. The main independent variables were education attainment, marital status, and employment. Outcomes were self-rated health (SRH) and happiness measured using single items. Age and year of the study were covariates. Gender was the moderator.

Results: Overall, high education, being employed, and being married were associated with better SRH and happiness. We, however, found significant interactions between gender and educational attainment, marital status, and employment on the outcomes, which suggested that the effect of high education and marital status were stronger for women. In comparison, the effect of employment was stronger for men. Some inconsistencies in the results were observed for SRH compared to happiness.

Conclusions: In the United States, while education, employment, and marital status are critical social determinants of subjective health and happiness, these effects vary between women and men. Men’s outcomes seem to be more strongly shaped by employment, while women’s outcomes are more strongly shaped by education and marital status.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/2.1196 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-2 Review Article

Personality Profiles of Individuals with Substance Use Disorders: Historical Overview and Current Directions

Jeffrey S. Nevid*, Alexander J. Gordon, Andrew S. Miele, Luke H. Keating

St. John’s University, New York

Efforts to understand personality features of people who use psychoactive substances have a long history, dating back to early psychoanalytic conceptualizations. Advancements in the field have focused on applying multidimensional personality inventories to better understand personality differences between substance users and non-users, and between different substance use types, with respect to both psychopathological traits and broad dimensional factors. A brief review of this evidence highlights personality features of persons with alcohol and other substance use problems and between users of different types of substances, especially alcohol and opioid substance use disorder patients. A better understanding of personality profiles of substance use disorder groups may be useful in tailoring treatment approaches based on profile characteristics.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/2.1198 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-2 Commentary

Commentary: Thirteen Reasons Why: The Impact of Suicide Portrayal on Adolescents’ Mental Health

Morgan James Grant*, Hala El-Agha, Thuy-Tien Ho, Shobal D. Johnson

Texas Woman’s University, Texas, United States

Thirteen Reasons Why (13RY) is a Netflix series that tells the story of a high school girl named Hannah Baker, who died from suicide due to a series of painful events of betrayal, sexual assault, bullying from classmates, and lack of support from friends, family, and school staff. She prepared and left behind a box with a suicide note and 13 audiotapes to give insight into her suicide. In Thirteen Reasons Why: The impact of suicide portrayal on adolescents’ mental health, Rosa et al. investigated “the influence of media portrayals of suicide on adolescent’s mood" by providing a descriptive, qualitative perspective of mental health, suicidality, and the prevalence of suicidal behavior or ideation, along with emotional processes most affected by the sensationalism and normalization of suicide. This commentary discusses the impact of suicide portrayal on adolescents and highlights the backlash that occurred in response to how 13RY depicted suicide by expanding on the study’s limitations, highlighting controversial issues, and making recommendations for future research by revealing the omission of certain key facts.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/2.1193 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-2 Original Research Article

Perceived Stress, Geopathic Stress and Spirituality of Male Prison Inmates

Jeremias L. Convocar*, Vicente D. Billones, Nelly L. Supiter

West Visayas State University, La Paz, Iloilo City, Philippines

Introduction: Previous studies provide insight into the association between incarceration and mental health of prison inmates, but fail to look into the influence Geopathic Stress (GS) and spirituality on perceived stress. This study aimed to determine the levels and relationships that exist among male inmates Perceived Stress, GS and Spirituality.

Method: The study design is a descriptive-correlational study that was conducted among 144 conveniently and purposively selected male inmates of certain city Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines, during the third quarter of fiscal Year 2019. The data gathering for the study utilized the adopted Perceived Stress Scale53, the Religiosity/Spirituality Scale54 and the researcher55 GS instrument. Some of the items in the instruments were slightly modified with corresponding vernacular language translations in order to fit with prison inmates’ context. The percentage analysis, mean, standard deviation, Mann-Whitney U test, and Kruskall Wallis H test with probability level set at 0.05 alpha.

Results: Generally, the male inmates had fair level of perceived stress and moderate level of spirituality regardless of their age, educational attainment, length of incarceration and status of case. Those who stayed longer (over 3 years) in prison experience most stress than those who stayed shorter. GS induces ones’ level of stress. A negative association between inmates perceived stress and spirituality and a positive association between GS and perceived stress. GS has always been ignored because most of the people are unaware of its occurrence in certain areas and its harmful effects on human health.

Conclusions: Although prison life is generally stressful, if inmates get involved in any religious-spiritual activities like bible study and worship service, vocational trainings, sports, exercises and other stress reduction activities may increase feelings of physical and mental well-being. Perceived long stay in prison induced the boredom of imprisonment and desire for liberty and longing to be with their family all adds to the stress of incarceration. On the other hand, if the inmates unluckily stayed over by sleeping for a long period of time within geopathically stressed area, they will be most likely to experience chronic stress that might develop various health problems. Spirituality is an internal resource that helps male inmates to cope well with stress. When one is connected with his spirituality, there is such a huge reservoir of support and help that one’s worries in life seem inconsequential. The results of this study may challenge health professionals in the correctional system to look into and consider GS and spirituality in managing inmates' stress and mental health.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/2.1200 View / Download Pdf
Vol 4-2 Original Research Article

Economic Strain Deteriorates While Education Fails to Protect Black Older Adults Against Depressive Symptoms, Pain, Self-rated Health, Chronic Disease, and Sick Days

Shervin Assari1*, Sharon Cobb2, Mohammed Saqib3, Mohsen Bazargan1,4

1Departments of Family Medicine, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science

2School of Nursing, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, United States

3University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

4Departments of Family Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA, United States

Background: A large body of empirical evidence on Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) suggests that educational attainment shows smaller health effects for Blacks compared to Whites. At the same time, economic strain may operate as a risk factor for a wide range of undesired mental and physical health outcomes in Black communities.

Aim: The current study investigated the combined effects of education and economic strain on the following five health outcomes in Black older adults in underserved areas of South Los Angeles: depressive symptoms, number of chronic diseases, pain intensity, self-rated health, and sick days.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 619 Black older adults residing in South Los Angeles. Data on demographic factors (age and gender), socioeconomic characteristics, economic strain, health insurance, living arrangement, marital status, health behaviors, depressive symptoms, pain intensity, number of chronic diseases, sick days, and self-rated health were collected. Five linear regressions were used to analyze the data.

Results: Although high education was associated with less economic strain, it was the economic strain, not educational attainment, which was universally associated with depressive symptoms, pain intensity, self-rated health, chronic diseases, and sick days, independent of covariates. Similar patterns emerged for all health outcomes suggesting that the risk associated with economic strain and lack of health gain due to educational attainment are both robust and independent of type of health outcome.

Conclusion: In economically constrained urban environments, economic strain is a more salient social determinant of health of Black older adults than educational attainment. While education loses some of its protective effects, economic strain deteriorates health of Black population across domains. There is a need for bold economic and social policies that increase access of Black communities to cash at times of emergency. There is also a need to improve the education quality in the Black communities.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2020/2.1203 View / Download Pdf