Our Brand Ambassador, Claire Newman provided her thoughts on the importance of Mental Health & Aesthetic treatments.
A persons psychological and emotional wellbeing is so important and must be considered before performing a treatment on any patient. Everyone at some point will struggle with their mental health. Our emotional wellbeing can fluctuate over time with the current climate of COVID as a prime example. The world has been turned upside down, our freedom has been restricted, and we are isolated from friends and family resulting in a lack of human contact. People in general are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression as we continue to face this global pandemic.
With more awareness of mental health people are looking for ways to improve their wellbeing. The prevalence of nonsurgical cosmetic procedures has been on the rise for several years and is one intervention that people use to improve health, wellbeing, and confidence. Therefore, it is imperative that during the consultation the practitioner understands the patients motives behind the treatment, along with the benefits to the patient whilst weighing out the risk. Building a therapeutic relationship and a rapport is important to reduce post procedure regret and optimise outcomes. If someone’s mental health is not in a good place a non-surgical procedure may not be the answer, as this may lead to unhappiness in terms of results.
The following Case Study demonstrates the importance of assessing mental health in a patient.
A 35-year-old lady presented to clinic for a consultation. During the consultation she appeared anxious, and was unable to retain information or recall it, and was getting flustered at times. She had a history of anxiety and was under mental health services. Due to her lack of capacity at that time we agreed not to treat, she was provided with written information to assist her. A few weeks later she contacted the clinic to book a consultation. During the telephone call she was happy, articulate, and able to recall all the information given to her. It transpired that she had a UTI which exacerbated her anxiety. This lady was treated several times without any concerns, but her capacity was assessed prior to treatment.
After about a year of discussions she decided to go ahead with cheek and nasolabial augmentation. She was in a good place mentally as she was in a new relationship, she was the happiest she had ever been. Her results were really good, she was happy and feeling more confident with her appearance. No concerns were noted during treatment. Several weeks later she made contact, distressed, unhappy and fixated with her face. She was booked in for a review, she appeared anxious and agitated, we struggled to see the area of concern. Following further discussions her relationship with her partner had broken down which in turn led to a relapse of her anxiety.
This example demonstrates the impact mental health has on nonsurgical treatments and patient outcomes. Assessing a patient holistically, ensuring that mental health is thoroughly assessed, building a rapport with patients, and not having a ‘conveyer belt’ approach improves patient outcomes.
However, we cannot always predict a relapse to a person’s mental health, but it is about how it is managed, and the support required if this does happen. Following the review, she contacted the clinic in distress wanting help with her mental health. She was assisted in obtaining support from local mental health services who were able to help her.
Whilst patient selection is key it is important not to discriminate against people with mental health conditions. Capacity needs to be assessed and a treatment plan in place to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone.
Claire is a registered mental health nurse with over 20 years experience. Prior to her nursing qualification she obtained an honours degree in psychology at UEL. In 2017 Claire completed the level 7 in Aesthetic Medicine, she is also a level 7 assessor with Dermal Medical. She has been running her own clinic, Soft Touch Aesthetics for over 6 years.