Despite death being part and parcel of human life, it is usually treated as an illness. That is why there are the palliative care services that aim at increasing and improving the quality of people living with serious terminal and chronic illnesses. The focus of this particular unit of healthcare is to minimize the effects of the symptoms, and the stress suffered when one is seriously distressed. Like other medical services, the care also comprises of the palliative psychiatry, which in this case focus on people with mental illnesses rather than the general illnesses. Primarily, the services are offered by a team of professionals comprising of the nurses, doctors, and other specialists; who work together to ensure that the patients receive support. They guarantee that individuals under their observation have access to an extra layer of support despite their age and the stage of disease they are in.
Background of Palliative Psychiatry
Psychiatry and palliative care are said to have a common medical ground. The two are interrelated in that a large portion of patients receiving the palliative care tend to suffer from mental-related issues like anxiety and depression. Thus, the proposal by the World Health Organization for all the mentally ill patients receiving psychiatric medication should be introduced to the long-term residential care that resembles the palliative care (WHO, 2016). Palliative Psychiatry was introduced to care for the people who suffer neglect due to persistent mental illnesses as well as the aggressive people within their current mental status (Keszte et al., 2013). The high number of people suffering from Schizophrenia and inadequacy of quality life expectancy, those living with therapy-refractory depression, and the severe and constant suicide efforts were the drivers for the interaction between the two. Palliative care is necessary for not only improving the quality of life of an individual but also the outcome of their treatment, personal centeredness, as well as the autonomy of the patient in making their personal decisions.
Mainly, 30% of the people receiving the palliative care services suffer from anxiety. Also, 38% of them have issues related to depression while 20-45% of the population suffer from other mental illnesses globally (Billings & Block, 2009). For that reason, over the last two decades, the collaboration between the two fields of psychiatry and palliative care has greatly increased in the developed countries. As outlined in the guidelines established by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, there is a need for the people with Severe Persistent Mental Illnesses to get more attention from the field of palliative care. According to the institution, most of the mentally ill patients tend to be overlooked even when they are suffering from physical diseases. Thus, there is a need for the close attention from the palliative care to the mentally ill this reducing the occurrence of suicide.