According to Healthy people 2030, half of the people of the United States will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime. Healthy people, 2030 focuses on preventing, screening, assessing, and treating mental issues and behavioral conditions. The objectives are to improve the quality of life and health of people affected by mental disorders. Mental disorders affect people of all ages and ethnic/racial groups; only half of the affected get medical support. Studies have shown that mental illnesses affect physical health. For example, depression or anxiety can affect people’s ability to follow healthy behaviors. Physical impediments can also affect or worsen mental health by not allowing patients to continue treatments directed to mental health wellbeing.
The USPSTF recommends screening for depression in the general adult population, including pregnant and postpartum women. Furthermore, the screening should be made with an adequate system to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-ups. Agreeing with the USPSTF, screenings should be conducted thoroughly and early to start prompt treatment with medications, therapy, or both to decrease clinical morbidity. Moreover, the USPSTF has found cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) a helpful tool that improves clinical outcomes in pregnant and postpartum clients with depression. This recommendation should be applied to adults 18 years and older since children and adolescents are addressed differently. The tools used to screen for depression are the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) for all adults and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) for postpartum and pregnant women. If a client results positive for depression, additional assessments should be conducted to acknowledge the severity and if other comorbid physiological illnesses are in place, such as drug abuse, anxiety, panic attacks, etc.
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