Does respecting someone begs a reciprocal response? Yes, so far as the normal social behaviour goes in a civilized grouping. If we say hello to someone, we expect a return ‘Hello’. That is in fact quite natural to expect. What if our hello is not reciprocated? This is likely to result in various misinterpretations of human behaviour and a mountain of misunderstandings. The same follows with the mental illness recovery process.
Miscommunication is the root of the problem when it comes to dealing with persons with mental disorders respectfully. Deep-rooted misconceptions and ignorance about the mental health issues further complicate the situation.
The obvious fall out of it all is: recurring incidents of abuse and disrespect to mentally ill persons, at home, on the street and worse still at the hands of the staff, nurses and doctors in a mental illness recovery center.
This is not an attempt to generalise that incident of ill-treatment and disrespect is all pervasive, but to sensitise common people and professionals dealing with mental healthcare problems.
The key lies in making efforts at understanding the mindset of people with mental disorders. Given the complexity of the mind and brain functional disorders, opening a channel of communication with a mentally disturbed person is the first big hurdle to overcome for healthcare professional.
The first and perhaps the easiest way to strike a chord with a mentally ill person is to show respect to him or her, his or her likings and disliking and instil a sense of being cared for and loved and respected despite all shortcomings. Numerous symptoms of mental illness are beyond the patients’ control.
A helping and respectful presence around, it has been proved, goes a long way in hastening the recovery of patients and bringing them back to the life’s mainstream.
The ability of the mental healthcare professionals to communicate respect, whether through spoken words, gestures or expression of feelings, plays an important part in opening up channels of communication with patients.
There are various ways of communicating with respect to a mentally ill person. These are:
The above-mentioned points have largely proven to be useful for a professional in the effective handling of patients with mental problems. Experts say that such a respectful approach to mental healthcare through a proper mental illness recovery plan help build a strong therapeutic working relationship with the patient.
A respecting attitude towards patients with mental illness has been greatly instrumental in removing misunderstanding between the patient and his or her doctor, caregiver or nurses. It helps instil in the patient a strong sense of confidence about the professional’s ability to lead him or her to a quick path of recovery.
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