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7 Ways to Improve Quality Care in Mental Health Treatment



7 Ways to Improve Quality Care in Mental Health Treatment

Mental Health Treatment

Mental disorders are common worldwide. However, whether they are treated with the same seriousness as physical illnesses is a question that needs to be asked often. Multiple research initiatives have explored ways to improve quality care in mental health treatment while understanding the sensitivity of each disorder.

In the US, only a third of those in need receive adequate mental healthcare, and most are subjected to poor quality of care, which slows down the rate of improvement. There is also the likelihood that unregulated treatments can worsen the patient’s mental health.

If done well, quality care can not only improve outcomes of care and patient experience, but it can also improve the lives of people working in healthcare institutions.

As a health administrator or a mental health professional, you need to tread carefully and look for rehabilitative quality care for your patients. Here are some ways you can do that.

1- Hiring Qualified Professionals

This might seem like a no-brainer, but mental health care is sensitive. If illnesses are treated without appropriate guidelines, the patient might have to deal with lasting consequences. So, when you’re looking to hire professionals, make sure their credentials are stellar, and they have recommendations from their previous places. Perhaps an unnecessary step generally, but have a look-through on their social media and any website they have for reviews.

Are they from the best schools for clinical psychology? How long have they been working as mental health professionals? The key to providing quality care is making sure you’ve covered all your bases.

Moreover, nurses and technicians should either go through a rigorous mental health sensitivity program or have gone through it in the past.

2- Ensuring treatment programs are effective

Mental health is still a subject that is slowly gaining momentum. This also means the treatments for certain illnesses are upgraded or changed every so often. Keeping up with the latest treatments and ensuring that the professionals at your practice use evidence-based practices will help make treatment programs more effective.

This also ties in with having qualified staff members to deliver treatments. They should have adequate certifications too. It is always important to ask, what treatment decisions are being made and under what observations? What can improve staff skills at the hospital?

3- Incentives for staff

Having a happy and content staff that doesn’t have to work long hours or when they are bone-tired is key to an effectively managed hospital, especially one that deals with mental illness patients.

To ensure everyone is happy and the work hours don’t exhaust your staff, have incentives in place for training and good outcomes. Team recreational activities are always an added bonus. Having a less stressful work environment allows the staff to focus better on their patients, consequently improving the quality of care provided to them.

4- Create a balance between pharmacological and psychological treatments

Medical practices often end up being disproportionately influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, which is true for psychiatry. As mental illnesses are still largely unknown and are a complex mix of biological and environmental factors, it is difficult to fully understand what drugs will be better suited for patients.

To provide quality care to patients, your practice should start with restoration treatments and, eventually, shift to medication. A marker of a good hospital is psychological interventions which are often as effective as medication.

5- Build data elements

Measurement and gathering data are vital to improving performance or quality or are needed to assess outcomes. It is important for a hospital to develop common data elements and implement them for checking mental health vital signs and diagnoses. They should be embedded with the existing electronic health records so that a consultant can have a full overview of the patient when looking for their history.

Maybe you can also introduce coding in digital and record systems to streamline administrative data for interventions like giving medication, psychotherapies, and other care processes. It will make the process of acquiring data more seamless.

6- Expand the pool of effective programs

For mental health care to improve significantly, it is important you increase the range of disorders, ages, and groups for which effective programs exist. You should also adapt programs to a variety of groups. Currently, the best programs for mental illnesses are in well-established, organized primary care settings. But there needs to be further improvement and progress in dealing with disorders in multiple settings.

For example, children with disorders like ADHD should have programs across primary care, specialty care, juvenile, schools and any other institution that serves children. This improves mental health sensitivity and the quality of care for people in various situations.

7- Improving infrastructure

For quality mental health care, there needs to be an infrastructure in place that promises a high level of care. A hospital system should fill gaps like lack of accountability, or it becomes difficult to improve the quality of care. Other than having professionals attest to their certifications or hiring individuals that uphold a certain standard required, there should be a way to streamline practitioners who deliver the best care.

Team leads should have experience in the field, and there should be interns who will eventually become skilled practitioners and improve your hospital’s reputation.


While there is already a negative stigma attached to receiving mental healthcare, it becomes even more important for institutions to take responsibility for practicing and disseminating materials that are sensitive to mental health. More people are likely to trust the system if the quality of their care improves and will seek support more readily.

Plus, to build that trust, your staff members are the institution’s backbone. So there should be a greater focus on workforce training and improving their ability to give quality care. The strategies for quality improvement should be introduced and applied routinely in diverse settings. Mental healthcare should be sensitive to cultural contexts and accompanied by extensive research that institutions should adequately fund.