The threats facing health care organizations vary in scope and nature (Authenticity Consulting, 2007). It is therefore a critical requirement that healthcare organizations adopt strategic plans that are capable of helping guard against such threats. To be able to do this, however, every individual organization has to identify the threats that face it and move to find ways of mitigating or managing the risks associated with the threats. This paper discusses four types of threats facing the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). These are environmental, economic, governmental, and demographic threats.
Discussion NAMI is specifically involved in the fight against mental illness through different methods. In this endeavor, the organization is faced with the following threats: Environmental Threats As an organization that deals with mental issues, the main environmental threat has been the rise in the number of people who are committing suicide because of their mental condition. This has been especially noted among teenagers (NAMI, 2010). For different reasons, it has been a threat to the continued successful operation of the organization which seeks to reduce the problems associated with mental illnesses, including death.
According to the organization, teenage deaths have been on the rise, threatening to reverse the gains so far made. For instance, suicide committed by teenagers and adults with mental illnesses of different kinds accounted for more deaths in the country compared to the combined causes from cancer, stroke, pneumonia, birth defects, heart disease, Aids, and lung diseases (NAMI, 2010). This is a pointer that unless appropriate measures are taken to halt and reverse this trend, then the organization risks failing to achieve its objectives.
An associated threat is that the cause of the high number of suicide among people with mental illness has not really been underpinned. This has made it even more difficult for intervention to be done effectively (NAMI, 2010). Economic Threats In its endeavor to fight against mental illness, NAMI usually employs the use of increased awareness through training and education on mental illness (NAMI, 2010). Do be able to do this the organization needs a lot of money. As a nonprofit, NAMI relies on the goodwill of sponsors such as charitable organizations and other well-wishers.
In the recent times, however, this support has been waning, posing the threat of drying up. This threat has been more real during the global economic crisis than at any other time before because the ability of people to spend money has been greatly reduced due to economic hardships all over the world (Comerford, 2007). With a declining economic outlook, the organization is faced with the threat of having to reduce its advocacy campaigns and narrow down on the implementation of only those programs that are deemed very critical. Yet every program of NAMI is equally important.
This lack of financial support threatens to curtail all the organization’s activities unless it is checked now. Demographic Threats NAMI deals with people from different backgrounds each of which has its own unique challenges (NAMI, 2010). Owing to different cultural practices and beliefs, different people with mental illness are treated differently by the society, a move that affects their chances of leading fulfilling lives. Stigma, for instance, is more rampant in certain communities than others. The threat of increased stigma against people with mental illness has been there for a long time now.
This is in spite of efforts by NAMI to demystify some of the myths associated with mental illness (NAMI, 2010). Over time, stigma is likely to become a leading cause of death among people with mental illness. Another demographic threat is rampant rise in the population of the world which is making the resources available to people with mental illness to be reduced. Finally, the other threat is the high turnover of experts in the mental health care field (NAMI, 2010). Fewer professionals than are required have remained in the field to take care of the ever-increasing cases of mental illness.
This has been exacerbated by the many professionals who continue leaving the field for different reasons (Begun, Kaissi & Sweetland, 2005). Government Threats Government policy has impacted NAMI in many ways. However, the greatest threat posed by government is its failure to pass policies that assist the mentally ill to get better health care services (Swayne, 2006). For instance, there has never been appropriate funding for mental health institutions especially those that are not-for-profit. This is in spite of the commendable work they do in ensuring that there is appropriate healthcare for the mentally ill.
That aside, the government has always been coming up with new legislation regarding the health care sector from time to time without really caring what impacts such legislation has on the operations of organizations like NAMI (Begun, Kaissi & Sweetland, 2005). Then there is no appropriate health care insurance for people with mental illness because they hardly ever get to be among the main groups that are insured by the government or by their employers. As most people with mental illness never engage in gainful activities, they are faced with the threat of being ignored in major government plans.
NAMI is also threatened by policy changes that might require it to meet certain minimum requirements to be eligible for funding (NAMI, 2010). Conclusion Given these threats facing NAMI, there is a need for appropriate strategies to manage them. As with all other threats, these particular ones are outside the control of NAMI and call for proper strategic planning to address them. Risk mitigation and change management are some of the approaches that can help deal with the threats and minimize their impacts should they actually come to happen.