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A discussion paper regarding the mental health services in the city

lskarena22 2 / -  
Mar 9, 2017   #1
I would like some comments on the organization, grammar, sentence structure of my essay. Also, do you think this is an essay that incorporates the analysis of various stakeholders. Lastly, do you think the policy recommended is convincing?

Essay Question
In regards of the development of mental health services in the city, please draft a discussion paper, setting out the pros and cons of two policy alternatives, the likely impact to the public. You are also need to set out your recommendations with arguments and actions that the city government should take now and in the next 15 to 20 years.


The recent homicides caused by discharged psychiatric patients in the community have become an issue of much concern. This paper will discuss the current situation and analyze two policy alternatives with a view to mapping out the future development of mental health services in the city.

Current situation

The recent death of several psychiatric patients raised concerns about the lack of support for mental patients in the community. Among the 200,000 psychiatric patients, only 40,000 schizophrenia patients are hospitalized, while the rest are taken care by community nurses and social workers in the community, according to the statistics of the Hospital Authority. For those patients living in the community, they have to see doctors and receive medication regularly. However, it is not uncommon to find them skip their consultations, resulting in delayed treatment and worsening their conditions which eventually lead to the happening of tragedies.

At present, doctors and psychiatrists do not have power to compel treatment for a patient even they have ranked the patient as high risk. For the sake of patients' and public safety, the government has to review its policy in mental health. Two policy alternatives have been proposed in the community, they are (1) introducing community treatment order to require discharged psychiatric patients who pose a threat to the society to accept medication and therapy and (2) reserving certain public rental housing for discharged psychiatric patients so that community nurses and social workers can follow up in a timely and centralized manner.

Evaluation of the two policies

Advantages of introducing community treatment order (Policy 1)
Discharged mental patients can receive timely treatment: patients occasionally misjudge their conditions. Patients are assured to receive adequate and timely treatment, lowering the risk of relapse.

The general public safety is ensured: tragedies caused by unstable discharged psychiatric patients can be avoided as long as medical professionals intervene on time and issue a community treatment order where appropriate.

Disadvantages of Policy 1

Limitation of patients' freedom: since the orders are compulsory, certain human rights advocacy groups argued that the policy will violate patients' basic human rights. In the worst scenario, a patient who receives a community treatment order may be forced to re-institute.

Deepening the public stereotype: the public may deepen their stereotype on in-hospital mental patients and discriminate against them, lowering the chance for discharged psychiatric patients to reintegrate into the community.

Increasing the burden of medical professionals: in additional to the original duties, the professional medical staff may also have to force patients to see them and receive treatment.

Some patients may avoid seeing psychiatrists because they do not want to be forced to seek treatment in the future.

Advantages of reserving certain public rental housing units for discharged psychiatric patients (policy 2)
Facilitating the visits of community nurses and social workers: commuting time is shortened when several patients are grouped in the same public housing estates, therefore, the community nurses and social workers can spend more time with the patients during their visits.

Making reintegration into the community easier for discharged psychiatric patients: close geographic proximity can increase the discharged mental patients' probability of developing new social ties. Neighbors can also look out for the patients' well-being.

Disadvantages of Policy 2

Violation of the patients' privacy: the identity of the psychiatric patients will be given away when they move into the reserved units in public rental housing estates.

The general public would hold grudge against the discharged psychiatric patients: many citizens, especially the low income families and the elderly with pressing needs are waiting for public rental housing. If the government accords priority to the discharged psychiatric patients, the general public will be gravely discomforted and lower their trust towards the administration.


After weighing the pros and cons of each policy option, introducing community treatment order (policy 1) is recommended for the following reasons:

Firstly, it can fulfill the dual-objectives of the government's mental health policy- to safeguard public safety and ensure the patients' well-being. Discharged psychiatric patients who medical professionals have identified as high-risk will be compelled to receive timely treatment, protecting them from enacting actions that may harm themselves or others (the general public).

Secondly, policy 1 can garner greater public support and thus, ensuring the success of its implementation. Its implementation will not take away the chance of low income families and elderlies being adequately housed in public housing estates, given that there is a severe undersupply of public rental housing.

Implementation details

First of all, the government has to draft amendment for the Mental Health Ordinance, empowering medical superintendents to detain mental patients to receive treatments when appropriate. Then, the government has to conduct a thorough consultation, informing citizens and clarifying the goal of introducing community treatment orders is to safeguard the safety of both psychiatric patients and the general public, instead of intending to violate the patients' privacy. By doing so, it is more likely to gain widespread public acceptance towards this policy.

The government has to estimate the additional manpower required to carry out policy 1, including the additional medical doctors and nurses needed to look after those who have received community treatment orders. As stated by a mental health concern group, a lack of manpower not only limits the provision of better services to patients, but also affects whether the city can introduce compulsory treatment orders for patients who miss appointments.

Lastly, the government has to ensure medical professionals review the way doctors assign priorities to cases, standardizing the criteria to minimize wrong risk classification of patients.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,635 3478  
Mar 9, 2017   #2
Luk, for the question section, do not provide the instructions that your professor provided for the writing of the paper. Based upon the instructions provided, you must develop an original thesis statement to represent the policy paper studies and suggestions that you will be making in the paper.

The other parts of the paper are presented in a proper manner. The discussion is academic and professional. Although, the discussion paper could use a few direct references, quotes, or information stemming from named "sources" of information. When supporting evidence is presented based upon published sources or personal interviews, the suggestions and recommendations that you are making develops a more authoritative stance. That will translate into a more powerful and compelling discussion paper presentation.

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