How to create a program in the setting of your choice to dramatically increase life satisfaction, fulfillment, and mental health in the community you serve.

Creating A Program In The Setting Of Your Choice To Dramatically Increase Life Satisfaction, Fulfillment, And Mental Health

Project Overview Prepare a 2,000-word (not including title page or references) academic paper in APA format that presents evidence for and application strategies around creating a program in the setting of your choice to dramatically increase life satisfaction, fulfillment, and mental health in the community you serve.

Community Program to Promote Mental Health, Life Satisfaction, and Fulfilment 


Contemporary society is replete with all manner of challenges ranging from domestic to financial. Individuals and communities facing these challenges are prone to developing psychological breakdowns that can tremendously diminish their life satisfaction. While the said problems are universal, some sections of society perpetually contend with these difficulties. In a multiethnic nation like America, racial segregation is usually a hurdle that some communities face at work, school, or public service points. The members of the African American community have long been disenfranchised in many channels, a factor that reduces their satisfaction with life. Additionally, they face institutionalized racial discrimination at the expense of their mental health and overall psychological wellness. Notably, these people are often on the receiving end of police brutality. This among other factors like poverty, homelessness, and lack of documentation leads to an overall low-quality life characterized by mental health breakdown and emotional problems. Akin to the Black Mental Health Alliance, a program implemented in Baltimore to promote mental health and satisfaction with life, the proposed initiative will work with children of incarcerated black men to promote their psychological well-being. 

Psychological Wellness, Mental Health, Life Satisfaction, and Fulfilment

There is a tight link that connects the terms wellness, mental health, life satisfaction, and fulfillment. According to Tang, Tang, and Gross (2019), mental health is both “the absence of mental illness and the presence of psychological wellness” (p.1). Psychological wellness is a combination of hedonic well-being and eudemonic well-being (King, 2019, p. 780). The former refers to enjoyment and pleasure, while the latter translates to fulfillment and meaning (Tang, Tang & Gross, 2019, p. 1). Hedonic well-being is the total of all pleasurable moments, meaning that it derives from both fulfillment and satisfaction. For this work, and in light of these definitions, mental health, life satisfaction, and fulfillment will be used interchangeably.

Societal Perspective

People of color live in an environment that predisposes them to stress and mental illness. Racial discrimination is one of the factors that can diminish a person’s sense of self-worth and esteem. Literature on the psychosocial causes of mental health indicates that racial “discrimination is associated with measures of depression and anxiety symptoms and psychological distress” (Williams, 2018, p. 470). In some cases, racial discrimination precipitates one of the known mental illnesses while in other instances, it causes comorbidity of these diseases. The contribution of racial discrimination to mental illnesses does not follow an age pattern. Both adults and children are equally affected by this social vice. Children and adolescents who encounter discrimination in social settings have low self-worth, resilience, and self-esteem (Williams, 2018, p. 471).

Racial discrimination is both a reality and a possibility for African Americans. Although not all African Americans report cases of discrimination, any person of color lives under the threat of stereotyping and maltreatment. Consequently, Blacks in America show a heightened sense of vigilance as they anticipate discrimination from various sources. This vigilance keeps people in psychological distress that usually manifests as mental illness (Williams, 2018, p. 472). Scholarly research indicates that this kind of vigilance results in cardiovascular effects like arterial elasticity and sleep disturbances (Williams, 2018, p. 473).

While discrimination presents an overt aspect of stressors associated with race, other subtle and indirect cues offer an understanding of mental health challenges among members of the black community. For example, the disproportionate incarceration of black people in America results in mental illness in the community. Relatives of incarcerated people, and especially children, display aggressive behaviors and poor performance in school (Williams, 2018, p. 475). Cultural racism, self-stereotyping, and political polarization are other racial causes of psychological disturbance. Cultural racism refers to the ways through which racial injustices are embedded in society. In the workplace, African Americans face discrimination more than their white counterparts (Williams, 2018, p. 477). This racism is also prevalent in the healthcare centers, meaning that the access to medical services by blacks is compromised. Besides cultural racism, research shows that African Americans have internalized self-stereotyping due to perpetual exposure to discrimination (Williams, 2018, p. 478). The cultural perception of whites as superior to blacks leads to a devaluing of the latter and contributes to a feeling of self-stigmatization and low self-esteem (Williams, 2018, p. 479).

Due to systematic and cultural racism, members of the black community are always struggling to assert themselves. At the same time, they have been looking for other methods to enhance their psychological wellness. The totality of factors detailed above results in low socio-economic achievement, suboptimal mental and physical health, and high criminality levels. Achieving true satisfaction, mental wellness, and fulfillment will alleviate the suffering usually observed in the community. These positive outcomes will eliminate the feelings of internal self-worthlessness and restore dignity in the members of the black community. In turn, a renewed sense of identity and importance will convert deviant African Americans into responsible citizens committed to building themselves and their nation. It will also offer them a fighting chance in the community as they advocate for the protection of their rights and better treatment of the community as a whole.

Personal Perspective

The struggles that blacks face as a community are translatable to the individual level. Racial discrimination, for instance, affects individuals at work, school, and other social avenues. An adolescent who cannot join a certain club due to his ethnicity feels worthless and risks suffering mental illness.  A black man who works with white colleagues may miss a chance for promotion to the managerial level due to his ancestry but not his inabilities. Racial discrimination affects children and their parents. In line with the discussion about mental illness secondary to racial discrimination, it is an individual who manifests internalized racism or suffers from a disease since they cannot access quality healthcare.

American society can either help or hurt a black person in a variety of ways. For instance, when the criminal justice system is designed to protect the rights of African Americans, a black young man can walk freely in the streets without fear of police victimization. Conversely, a black person will refrain from exercising his right of movement or association if police officers accused of shooting people of his color are not prosecuted and sent to prison. The government and civil institutions can help entrench racial equality values in society. When government agencies stand firm against discrimination, the notion of racial supremacy will give way to equality that all people can enjoy regardless of their race. 

Seeking satisfaction and wellness is difficult in the wake of racial discrimination. Since both of these are functions of mental health, it follows, therefore, that individuals from black communities are never happy or satisfied in life. If an individual is to achieve mental health and obtain satisfaction, they have to overcome cultural and internalized racism and excel beyond these limiters. They have to tap into the options availed in his or her community and strive to be a better person than what his or her parents were. The individual who subscribes to a mental health and wellness program can achieve long-standing motivation to overcome challenges and attain social and economic levels that rival those of his or her white counterparts. 

Neuroscience and Physiology of Life Satisfaction, Fulfilment, and Mental Health

Neuroimaging studies and neuropsychological literature offer a nuanced perspective of the brain and body mechanisms involved in psychological well-being. A review of such literature shows that the entire brain has a role to play in achieving well-being. However, there is considerable data that points to the anterior cingulate cortex as the principal area for happiness and mental wellness. Additionally, two main neural axes in the brain, the default, and salience networks, coordinate the feeling of happiness and balance interior and external stimuli (King, 2019, p. 788).

Reports on neuroimaging indicate that frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes coordinate happiness and well-being. In addition, various subcortical areas like the thalamus serve as auxiliary centers for well-being and life satisfaction. From a theoretical angle, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), posterior cingulate cortex, superior temporal gyrus, and occipital frontal cortex are mostly associated with coordinating well-being and life satisfaction. In particular, the ACC controls multiple cognitive and emotional functions alongside monitoring conflicts, enhancing attention, and personal motivation. The activation of these areas results in optimal psychological processes which translate to wellbeing. (King, 2019, p. 789).

The nervous system in human beings gives priority to homeostasis in the event of bombardment by multiple external and internal stimuli. To achieve this equilibrium, the brain must integrate the external stimuli with the internal processes and offer direction to the person on the next step to take. King (2019) defines well-being as the brain’s “ability to integrate relevant and significant internal and extrapersonal stimuli in the service of maintaining equilibrium” (p. 789).  Autonomic signals are thus essential in wellness. The salience network, comprised of the anterior cingulate cortex and occipital frontal cortex, regulates mental wellness by detecting variability in autonomic inputs. Therefore, the negative changes in breathing or blood pressure can manifest depression through autonomic input (King, 2019, p. 789).

Techniques to Enhance Psychological Wellbeing

Mindfulness training and interactive conversations are two major techniques that promote mental wellness and promote overall life satisfaction. Mindfulness describes the attention acceptance to the experiences of the moment. One variation of mindfulness, termed integrative body-mind training (IBMT), enhances the interaction of the body and mind. One of the effects of body-mind training is that it increases the plasticity of cortical areas associated with psychological well-being like the anterior cingulate cortex. In a series of randomized control trials comparing the effects of relaxation techniques (RT) and IBMT, Tang, Tang, and Gross (2019) cite that subjects undergoing the latter for 5 sessions showed better self-control, higher positive affect, and lower levels of stress hormones (p. 2). Mindfulness, therefore, results in a greater feeling of fulfillment, satisfaction, and mental wellness. 

Besides mindfulness training, open conversation between subjects and mental health professionals contributes to a significant reduction in mental health stigma. In the Youth Aware of Mental (YAM) Health program, 32 youth from various European countries undertook interviews conducted by mental health professionals to investigate mental health issues. Different relevant youth mental health perspectives like stigma, acceptance, and understanding emerged from these interactive sessions (Wasserman et al., 2018, p. 2). The program was more of an elucidative than therapeutic exercise aimed at defining the youth's understanding and encounter with mental health issues. 

Black Mental Health Alliance

The Black Mental Health Alliance, located in Baltimore Maryland promotes the mental health and psychological well-being of African American people living in this city. It adopts varied approaches, but interactive conversations and mindfulness training form the mainstay of its intervention program. The two main programs under this initiative are B-CIITY which conducts mindfulness and self-care strategies and Mind Health: Shop Talks which allows people to speak about mental health issues encountered in a particular month (Black Mental Health Alliance, 2019). As expected of any non-profit organization, BMHA faces financial challenges to meet its targets and execute its scheduled plans. An organization like this may face backlash from pro-white supremacy factions due to its role in promoting the welfare of black people. Finding out ways of fundraising for such groups will enhance their success in the long run.

Wellbeing, Satisfaction, and Fulfilment Program

This program does not work with the entire community as BMHA does. Instead, it studies the community to find the most vulnerable people in the community. For a start, the program will work with children whose fathers are incarcerated, since research shows that these children are likely to develop mental illness and aggressive behaviors and end up in jail like their parents (Williams, 2018, p. 475). The program will recruit social workers and psychologists dedicated to pediatric mental health. Children eligible for this program must be between 8 and 15 years old and hail from an African American family. Such a program at the private level does not exist, meaning that no template will be used to customize the present one. 

Children of prisoners are an especially deprived population.  The dependents of incarcerated men continue to live under the care and provision of one parent, although a smaller portion of them end up in foster care. The children also become susceptible to juvenile delinquency and social victimization (DeHart et al, 2018, p. 5). Mental health issues reported among children of incarcerated parents include traumatic stress, low self-concept, emotional disturbance, and disrupted attachment (DeHart et al, 2018, p. 4). These impacts are indicators of the lack of life satisfaction and the absence of fulfillment. 


Life satisfaction is a function of psychological wellness. Satisfaction and wellness stem from both internal and external inputs. A person achieves satisfaction and optimal wellness when the internal and external processes attain equilibrium. Due to incessant pressure from the external environment, the neuronal pathways involved in wellness are disrupted. This is true for members of the African American community. Due to the cultural racism in the US, blacks have always found themselves disenfranchised both in private and public avenues. This cultural racism diminishes an individual’s feeling of self-worth and results in self-stereotyping. Other issues in the social space like poverty and incarceration add to the already heavy emotional burden for African Americans and their children. Black Mental Health Alliance is one of the numerous organizations that have acknowledged the special mental health challenges prevalent among members of the black community. The proposed program holds a vision similar to that of BMHA, although it is focused on the children of incarcerated men. By identifying the mental health issues preventing the achievement of life satisfaction among this population, the program will implement innovative and age-sensitive techniques to eliminate the problem and help these children achieve fulfillment, psychological wellness, and life satisfaction. 


Dr. Carol

Dr. Carol

Hi! I am a freelance writer who delivers top-notch papers for my clients. My strengths are the ability to work on urgent papers, prepare outlines, do research papers, and do capstones. Based on reviews from other writers, my editorial services are top-class. Although I deliver exemplary papers in fields such as English, Philosophy, and Sociology, my major is Psychology. As a freelancer, daily practice has made me appear on the top writers’ list on this website.

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