Psychological Well-Being and Psychological Distress

Module Assessment: Consultant to New Nation: Psychological Well-Being and Psychological Distress Policy Recommendation

In recent years the idea that well-being is a critical factor has been acknowledged not only by psychologists, but also by political leaders of a number of nations. For instance, in the past politicians often only examined economic well-being, now some nations are assessing the psychological well-being of their citizens! Among the nations exploring such types of psychological well-being and policy to promote it, are Bhutan, Venezuela, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) among others. In fact, in 2016 the UAE appointed its first Minister of Happiness. One suspects other nations may follow in the coming years.

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For this Module 3 Assessment, you will make a policy recommendation based on your expertise as a psychological consultant to a newly discovered nation. As you consider your Module Assessment, please take the time to review the requirements for the Assessment as well as the time you will need for completion. Please plan your time accordingly throughout this module.

To Prepare:
Review the following situation:
Imagine you are serving as a psychological consultant to a newly discovered nation of the world and you discover that most people in this nation are happy while some are distressed and suffering from psychological disorders or mental distress.

Review and use any of the course Learning Resources to support this Module Assessment. You may also use any resources from your previous research for this course.
Assignment: (5 pages excluding title page and reference page)

Part 1: Happiness and Well-Being (2 pages)

Based on the situation provided and utilizing the course Learning Resources to support your thinking:

Select and describe three influences on happiness and well-being that vary across cultures for your new nation.
Explain why you think these three influences are critical to improving national well-being.
Part 2: Psychological Distress and Disorder (2 pages)

Based on the situation provided and utilizing the course Learning Resources to support your thinking:

Select and describe three influences on psychological distress and disorders that vary across cultures for your new nation.
Explain why you think these three influences are especially significant for understanding the nation’s psychological distress.
Part 3: Policy Recommendation (1 page)

Based on the situation provided and utilizing the course Learning Resources to support your thinking:

Make three policy recommendations to reduce psychological distress and explain why.
Make three policy recommendations for psychological well-being for this new nation and explain why.
Support your finding with references from the Learning Resources and your research.

Sample Answer

Psychological Well-Being and Distress

Political leaders and psychologists from many different countries are increasingly emphasizing the value of well-being. Most countries are now evaluating, researching, and formulating policies to promote psychological well-being. In New Nation, a newly discovered country, most people are content, but some are disturbed psychologically.

Happiness and Well-Being

Happiness is the presence of positive feelings such as joy, optimism, and excitement. To maintain happiness, citizens of New Nation need more sustainable sources of pleasure and adaptation. Well-being is the greatest version of oneself based on a particular set of beliefs (Voci, Veneziani, & Fuochi, 2019). Happiness is correlated with career well-being, social well-being, financial well-being, physical well-being, and societal well-being. The degree of somatization varies among ethnic groups and has a range of repercussions on mental well-being (Ryder, Yang, & Heine, 2002). This study examines the many cultural factors that affect happiness and well-being in New Nation. Influences on happiness and well-being vary across cultures in New Nation and are critical to improving national well-being. The most important factors affecting happiness and well-being in New Nation that differ throughout cultures are wealth, social relationships, and hedonic adaptability.

Influences on Happiness and Well-Being

The Influence of Wealth on Wellbeing and Happiness

There is a connection between money and happiness since income over what is required to meet fundamental requirements has no impact on happiness. According to D’Ambrosio, Jäntti, & Lepinteur (2020), unpleasant feelings may be lessened when money is used to pay for basic practical demands like food, shelter, and transportation. Then, using money to obtain experiences that enhance joyful sensations, relieve pain, or free up time indirectly increases pleasure. Concentrating on the things that bring pleasure when one is pressed for time is challenging. Time may be saved by outsourcing tasks and using money to do so. When you have more free time, you may reduce stress by engaging in relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation. Additionally, it lessens the negative feelings brought on by time limits. On the other hand, money and well-being are also connected in that spending time and money affects how one feels, just like happiness. With money, therapists can handle psychological difficulties as they put their abilities to good use and enhance the lives of others. Just like the way a job should increase happiness, the majority of things that make someone happy are wealth related.

The Influence of Social Relationships on Happiness and Well-Being

Social connections have an impact on happiness and health. The most crucial factor in someone’s happiness and health is the caliber of their social network. Hence it is common for individuals to want to widen their social network. Social contact quantity and quality are intimately related to happiness and well-being. The likelihood of developing depression, loneliness, poor self-esteem, and issues with eating and sleeping is lower in those who have a high number of friends. People that interact with them often are attentive to their feelings and thought processes. On emotions and behavior, spending more time with nice individuals has an impact. Happy people have loyal friendships and they appreciate the idea of being able to interact with their friends (Sun, Harris, & Vazire, 2020). They are also very tolerant, kind, and compassionate toward others. They understand that helping others may provide them joy and assurance. Well-being and happiness give individuals a feeling of purpose because they know how to deal with their situations positively.

The Influence of Hedonic Adaptation on Happiness and Well-Being

Hedonic adaptation is the process through which people recover their previous levels of enjoyment after a change in their environment. Luhmann & Intelisano (2018) believe that individuals can adapt to practically any situation in life, and happiness levels oscillate around a biologically defined fixed point that never changes. The degree of personal adaptability varies widely from person to person. Even if some adaptation happens and inherent characteristics undoubtedly play a part, long-term alterations are linked to situations like divorce, the loss of a spouse, unemployment, and disability. As a result, people’s degrees of pleasure differ, and in most cases adapting is the only option.

Psychological Distress and Disorder

Influences on psychological distress and disorders vary across cultures in New Nation, and they are significant for understanding the nation’s psychological distress.

Influences on Psychological Distress and Disorders

Loneliness

Psychological distress and disorders are impacted by loneliness. The social connection that makes someone happy is crucial for your mental and physical health. Lack of social connections may lead to loneliness. Numerous mental ailments, such as depression, alcoholism, child maltreatment, sleep difficulties, and personality disorders, are rooted in loneliness. Many physical illnesses, such as diabetes, as well as cardiac conditions, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, and cancer, are also influenced by it. Situational, developmental, and inner loneliness are the three different forms of loneliness. Environmental elements, including negative events, interpersonal difficulties, accidents, and catastrophes, are linked to situational loneliness. Developmental loneliness is correlated with various factors, including living conditions, character flaws, and developmental challenges (Okabe-Miyamoto & Lyubomirsky, 2021). Low self-esteem, mental anguish, personality traits, and ineffective coping mechanisms are all linked to internal loneliness. Failure to address loneliness may harm a person’s physical and mental health. Protecting the patients’ physical and emotional health is crucial to take immediate action.

Discrimination

The unfair treatment of various groups of individuals based on their race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and other traits is a stressor. Discrimination has many detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health. The two main grounds for discrimination are race and religion. A risk factor for poor mental health is prejudice, whether overt or perceived, general or specialized, and connected to race, ethnicity, race, or religion. For instance, prejudice towards Muslims is widespread in America and is motivated by the practice of Islam. Long-term effects of perceived prejudice on mental health may be possible. Branco, Ramos, & Hewstone (2019) propose that perceived racial discrimination is a unique stressor. A wide variety of adverse emotional effects, such as melancholy, anxiety, and psychological suffering, may be brought on by perceived prejudice. Discrimination and poor mental health are causally linked.

Poverty

Poor mental health and poverty are intricately related. Poverty has a detrimental impact on mental health, increasing psychological distress, and disorders. Since various health-related factors are favorably correlated with GDP per capita at the national level, economic expansion is anticipated to have a similarly beneficial impact on mental health as it does on physical health. Mental health improves along with economics. Randomized controlled studies that assess anti-poverty measures provide the strongest causal support for the idea that poverty encourages mental illness. Both poverty and the dread of it may be factors in poor mental health. Both economic shocks and their expectation of them have been linked to mental illness. The income of the poor is volatile. Stress that builds up over time due to coping with this unpredictability may be detrimental to mental health. One’s mental health is more likely to be disturbed by living in inadequate housing, being exposed to very high temperatures brought on by global warming, and living in polluted environments. Even while mental disease decreases productivity and revenue, psychological therapies have positive economic effects. Like negative economic shocks, anti-poverty initiatives like cash transfers may exacerbate mental illness. For the creation of successful strategies, understanding the processes behind these causal effects is essential.

Policy Recommendations

Policy Recommendations to Reduce Psychological Distress

Policy proposals for lowering psychological distress are the adoption of psychotherapy, globalization, and embracing information technology. Qiu et al. (2020) view psychotherapy is essential in relieving emotional suffering as a cross-disciplinary practice that connects mental conditions and psychological pain. Mental health measures should be regularly included in assessments of economic interventions. Secondly, globalization should be used to blend economies and cultures to impact individual and family lifestyles positively. By strengthening the national economy, globalization can encourage growth and raise communal wealth. Workplace reforms that boost compensation make education and training more accessible, and enhancing working conditions will benefit employees’ mental health. Lastly, information technology’s evolution impacts the relationship between lifestyle and happiness. While some people like the independence that comes with new technologies, for many others, the isolation and lack of social support that come with this option are stressful. Technological advancements should not threaten the conventional separation of work and private life.

Policy Recommendations for Psychological Well-Being for New Nation

New Nation should adopt policy recommendations for their psychological well-being as a country. Social connectedness, safety, health at work, and data-sharing between communities providers are effective policies. Social connectivity has been found to have significant health advantages compared to other well-known public health issues, including exercise, preventing obesity, and quitting smoking. The actions and policies of the government should focus on this element. Secondly, legislative and regulatory measures should emphasize safety and healthy practices at work. To increase awareness of the occurrence and effects of occupational accidents, psychological injuries, and illnesses, New Nation should create safe workplaces for accessible and high-quality services. Lastly, data exchange between local service providers at the community level has the potential to save lives. It will enable a shared understanding of psychological issues among the people leading to more reliable and effective patient care. Culture-universal and culture-specific phenomena distinctions are important to note when considering cultural differences in the expression of psychological distress (Hwang et al., 2008). Psychological well-being can be achieved with effective leadership, practical objectives, and prompt action.

 

References

Branco, C., Ramos, M. R., & Hewstone, M. (2019). The association of group‐based discrimination with health and well‐being: A comparison of ableism with other “isms”. Journal of Social Issues75(3), 814-846.

D’Ambrosio, C., Jäntti, M., & Lepinteur, A. (2020). Money and happiness: Income, wealth and subjective well-being. Social Indicators Research148(1), 47-66.

Hwang, W. C., Myers, H. F., Abe-Kim, J., & Ting, J. Y. (2008). A conceptual paradigm for understanding culture’s impact on mental health: The cultural influences on mental health (CIMH) model. Clinical psychology review28(2), 211-227.

Luhmann, M., & Intelisano, S. (2018). Hedonic adaptation and the set point for subjective well-being. Handbook of well-being.

Okabe-Miyamoto, K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2021). Social connection and well-being during COVID-19. World Happiness Report2021, 131.

Qiu, J., Shen, B., Zhao, M., Wang, Z., Xie, B., & Xu, Y. (2020). A nationwide survey of psychological distress among Chinese people in the COVID-19 epidemic: implications and policy recommendations. General psychiatry33(2).

Ryder, A. G., Yang, J., & Heine, S. J. (2002). Somatization vs. psychologization of emotional distress: A paradigmatic example for cultural psychopathology. Online readings in psychology and culture10(2), 3.

Sun, J., Harris, K., & Vazire, S. (2020). Is well-being associated with the quantity and quality of social interactions?. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology119(6), 1478.

Voci, A., Veneziani, C. A., & Fuochi, G. (2019). Relating mindfulness, heartfulness, and psychological well-being: the role of self-compassion and gratitude. Mindfulness10(2), 339-351.

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