Promoting Wellness and Resilience
Wellness incorporates a practical and positive approach to life, which enhances resiliency to stress through promoting life balance, as well as contentment. Resilience involves an individual’s capacity to maintain steady functioning amidst adversity. Strengthening individuals’ mental health, as well as promoting resilience to managing life’s stressors can help in reducing the risk of mental problems. In addition, promoting resilience contributes massively in the improvement of general health, productivity and, consequently, a healthier society. This study will focus on promoting wellness and resilience for homeless men Westside of Atlanta, Georgia, as well as recommending and proposing appropriate strategies to enhance understanding and access to various community resources.
Wellness and Resiliency Model
As people struggle to achieve happiness, they also achieve good health and live longer. Meta-analyses have proved that promotion of well-being has the capacity to improve the health of individuals, as well as society. Thus, Wellness and Resiliency model is capable of transforming the lives of the homeless in society. Mental health counselors shall ensure that staffs working with the homeless men in the facility are familiar with the Wellness and Resilient model with an aim of enhancing and delivering proper behavioral health services.
The Wellness and Resiliency model combines the six dimensions of wellness and the six domains of resilience. The six dimensions of wellness include social, work-related, spiritual, bodily, intellectual, and emotional factors (Blonna, Loschiavo & Watter, 2011). Mental health counselors should ensure that the homeless people are comfortable with their current situation by encouraging them to interact with every person, regardless of age, race, or lifestyle. Occupational trait will help the homeless people to feel confident with their ability, and to recognize opportunities to new skills. Spiritual character incorporates being open to variety of cultures and regions, and participating in spiritual activities.
Physical character demands that the homeless participate in exercising on regular basis, eat properly and avoid alcohol and tobacco. Homeless people should develop intellect through being observant of their surrounding, question some actions, and listening to their counselors. They should not be coerced to learn, but to learn for their own benefits. Emotional factors assist in keeping positive attitude and learning to handle stress. This will also involve taking responsibility for one’s behaviors. Homeless people should be guided on how to be independent, and when to seek help in case of any problem.
The six spheres of resilience comprise social capabilities, secure foundation, education, friendships, gifts and interests, and constructive values (Daniel & Wassell, 2004, p. 14). Social competencies are encouraged for a successful social adjustment. They involve having different perspectives concerning any idea. Homeless people require a secure base to have a feeling of belongingness and security. Mental health counselors are responsible for educating the homeless about their plight, and showing them how to deal with life-threatening emotional behaviors. Creating friends assists in avoiding loneliness. Most homeless people have talents and interests, which can be exploited to entertain other people in society. They can also earn income through their talents. Positive values such as honesty, cooperation, respect, and restraint would assist the homeless people in dealing with their situation in society.
Intervention Activities That Promote Resilience and Wellness
Intervention activities are fundamental for mental health counselors who require assistance in handling the homeless people in Atlanta. Some of the characteristics of the homeless include disability, mental illnesses, persistent unemployment, forced dependency, and isolation. With an appropriate approach, counselors can enhance the health of the homeless men. The “Happiness Route” is utilized in activating participants to get into contact with their friends and relatives to enhance the feeling of relatedness (Weiss, Westerhof & Bohlmeijer, 2013). This practice is based on the notion of self-determination, where autonomy, relatedness and competence are emphasized.
Outreach is another intervention strategy that targets homeless people living in the streets and public parks with an aim of supporting them with food and medical care. Mental health counselors make “repeated brief contacts to establish a relationship often precede an agreement to accept services” (Caton, Wilkins & Anderson, 2007, p. 4-12). Outreach has the capacity to connect the homeless with the services they require. Multidisciplinary teams can be established, which include counselors, to enhance engagement and building positive relationship that can lead to wellness.
Prevention and Education Activities
It may not be enough to transform people out of homelessness. The relevant authority can end the problem of homelessness in Atlanta through creating access to inexpensive houses, or award the homeless people support to build their own houses. However, a long-term solution is essential, as well as ways to prevent such situations to occur. A research should be conducted to assess the situation of homelessness, and the kind of housing that would suit the homeless men of Western Atlanta. According to Caton, Wilkins and Anderson (2007), an exclusive verification about what works best can assist in making decisions that currently are determined through value-laden assumptions.
Improving health of the homeless can create stability in terms of cost saving, as affected groups will not spend much on eliminating serious health problems. A partnership between housing providers and health services can prevent homelessness and improve the well-being of city residents and their families.
Relationships are quite necessary in promoting the well-being, as well as preventing mental health issues. Good leadership is paramount in organizing people and creating policies that focus on promotion of wellness in society. The state government should facilitate in educating the homeless about the policies that guide on resilience and wellness. Education enables the affected group to be prepared of what may happen to them, and knowing the kind of assistance that they may get to regain their wellness. Education can encourage healthy behaviors and reduce incidences of mental suffering among the homeless men.
Strategies to Promote Community Resources
Enhancing the capacity of staff in the targeted area is crucial in delivering of high quality evidence-based services to the homeless and their families while the state should join in to provide funds that can assist in conducting studies, in addition to educating the homeless. Mental health counselors should support the safety and well-being of the homeless men through offering their services voluntarily. Homeless men may encounter difficulties in getting proper health care due to lack of transport, and poor continuity of care (Murray & McKinney, 2010). Adequate funding by the government can assist in enhancing access to health care facilities as well as the importance of maintaining good health.
Promoting wellness and resilience involves the transformation of people’s lives through employing strategies necessary in preventing healthy problems and other risks. Homelessness is a complicated problem that results from various unmet needs. Effects of homelessness have not been well researched, although their impacts are noticeable. The wellness and resilience model can assist the homeless men in the Westside of Atlanta to regain their health and improve their lifestyle. The state authority should come up with strategies to promote wellness and resilience, which are essential in preventing homelessness. Most homeless people are uneducated and may not understand much about their rights. Hence, mental health counselors can step in and educate them about community resources and importance of maintaining their health.
Blonna, R., Loschiavo, J., & Watter, D. (2011). Health counseling: A micro skills approach for counselors, educators, and school nurses. Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Caton, C.L., Wilkins, C., & Anderson, J. (2007). People Who Experience Long-Term Homelessness: Characteristics and Interventions. National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved from http://www.allentownpa.gov/Portals/0/files/community/programs_services/endchronichomelessness/report.pdf
Daniel, B., & Wassell, S. (2004). Adolescence: Assessing and promoting resilience in vulnerable children. London: J. Kingsley Publishers.
Murray, S. S., & McKinney, E. S. (2010). Foundations of maternal-newborn and women’s health nursing. Maryland Heights, Mo: Saunders Elsevier.
Weiss, L. A., Westerhof, G. J., & Bohlmeijer, E. T. (2013). Nudging socially isolated people towards well-being with the ‘Happiness Route’: design of a randomized controlled trial for the evaluation of a happiness-based intervention. Health & Quality Of Life Outcomes, 11(1), 1-11. doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-159