Hospices Mobilize to Better Serve Mentally Ill Patients

Posted Monday, June 21, 2021

Hospices are learning that mental health issues are quite a challenge for their patients at the end of their life.  Research from the journal General Hospital Psychiatry indicates significant disparities in end-of-life care exist for those living with severe and persistent mental illnesses (SPMI). Roughly 6% of the U.S. population have a SPMI that is chronic or recurrent, significantly impairs functioning or requires ongoing intensive psychiatric treatment, according to research from the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

“There’s a perpetual balancing around mental health, but hospices need to do more,” Brian Mistler, chief of people, culture and clinical operations officer at Vynca, told Hospice News. “We know that facing the issues around grief and advance care planning can be challenging for families — adding components of mental illness multiplies these challenges. It can also exacerbate the complexity of grief, as individuals may have struggled for a long time to care for or cope with the impacts of their loved ones’ mental illness.”

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