Management plans are useful for patients with a broad range of cognitive deficits and mental health problems. A management plan might involve setting up different types of responses and strategies tailored to the individual. For someone with a high risk of suicide or who has severe impairments it might involve ensuring 24 hour access to care. Such individuals may have to be supervised at all times.

Often management plans involve making changes to the patient's environment at home, in hospital or in supported housing. Typically, family members or other social support networks will be involved in establishing management plans. Community resources like crisis telephone lines, medical centres and local police may also be involved so that there is greater awareness.

Management also involves setting up coping strategies that can be employed in between therapy sessions, clinical assessment and other treatments.

Some people have problems which are more difficult to address than others. For instance, severe cognitive impairments can make interventions difficult to administer. Sometimes patients may refuse to cooperate or they may refuse to communicate. Sometimes they may struggle to understand what is being asked of them. A range of behavioural problems can also interfere with management plans:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Illicit drug taking
  • Side effects of medications e.g. antidepressants
  • Suicidal ideation

Co-morbid mental health issues may also hinder progress. Someone who incurred a brain injury in a car accident may have already had a pre-existing anxiety disorder and have limited social or financial support to draw upon.  

Different age groups can have specific age-related problems.  As people age, their physical and mental functioning can deteriorate, so they are more prone to certain conditions, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, heart problems and so on. These can be a result of the ageing process, but also as a result of their lifestyle.  

A person’s gender and culture can also affect difficulties they experience. For example, women were once thought to be more prone to depression, but it is now thought that men are less likely to report their depression or will show their depression in a different way. Some conditions will be gender based, for example, only women will experience post-natal depression.  But a father might also experience depression after a baby is born.  Some mental health conditions are also thought to be more related to cultures. Some syndromes are also culture-bound.