Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Key Themes and Perspectives
Author: Ian Cummins

Police officers deal with mental illness-related incidents on an almost daily basis. Ian Cummins explores how factors such as deinstitutionalisation, community care failings and, more recently, welfare retrenchment policies have led to this situation. He then considers how police officers should be supported by community mental health agencies to make confident and correct decisions, and to ensure that the individuals they encounter receive support from the most appropriate services.

Of interest to police researchers and students of criminology and the social sciences, the book examines police officers’ views on mental health work and includes a chapter by a service user.

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The Politics of Sanity

Why do the UK and US disproportionately incarcerate the mentally ill, frequently poor people of color? Via multiple re-framings of the question–theological, socioeconomic, and psychological– Andrew Skotnicki diagnoses a “persecution of the prophetic” at the heart of the contemporary criminal justice system.

This interdisciplinary book draws on criminology, theology, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and psychiatric history to consider the increasingly intractable issue of mass incarceration. Inviting a new, collaborative conversation on penal reform as a fundamentally “life-affirming” project, it defends the dignity of those diagnosed as mentally unstable and their capacity for spiritual transcendence.

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Knowledge, Practice and Neoliberal Reform in Community Mental Health Services
Author: Rich Moth

In this timely analysis, Rich Moth assesses mental health services in a period of major change.

Based on extended fieldwork in community mental health services, he explores the many impacts of policy reform, marketisation and austerity on NHS mental health provision, and positions developments in the contexts of neoliberalism and an increased emphasis on individual responsibility.

Firmly rooted in the lived experiences of people using mental health services, and the social workers, nurses and psychiatrists delivering them, this is a stimulating perspective on understandings of and responses to mental distress within this organisational setting.

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This original collection explores how critical gerontology can make sense of old age inequalities to inform and improve social work research, policy and practice and empower older people.

With examples of practice-facing research, this book engages with key debates on age-related human rights and social justice issues. The critical and conceptual focus will expand the horizons of those who work with older people, addressing the current challenges, issues and opportunities that they face.

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Developing Trauma Resilience for a New Era

How does it feel to be a police officer in the UK? What happens in the brains of officers, particularly in high-risk roles such as counter-terrorism and child sexual exploitation? Jessica Miller uses the most recent neuroscience and real-life examples to explore risks to individual resilience, be it trauma exposure, burnout or simply the daily pressure of adapting to life on the front line.

A compulsory read for anyone with an interest in policing, the book offers practical, easy-to-follow resilience techniques applicable to anyone in the wider emergency responder community. The book also offers policy and operational recommendations to equip police officers with skills to face crime in a post-COVID world.

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Author: Lucy Series

ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

During the 20th century the locus of care shifted from large institutions into the community. However, this shift was not always accompanied by liberation from restrictive practices. In 2014 a UK Supreme Court ruling on the meaning of ‘deprivation of liberty’ resulted in large numbers of older and disabled people in care homes, supported living and family homes being re-categorized as ‘detained’.

Placing this ruling in its social, historical and global context, this book presents a socio-legal analysis of social care detention in the post-carceral era. Drawing from disability rights law and the meanings of ‘home’ and ‘institution’ it proposes solutions to the Cheshire West ruling’s paradoxical implications.

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European Perspectives

In this much-needed text, leading international experts explore crucial aspects of people’s experience of long-term recovery from substance use.

Centred around the voices of people who use substances, the book examines the complex and continuing needs of people who have sought to change their use of substances, investigating the ways in which personal characteristics and social and systemic factors intersect to influence the lives of people in long-term recovery. With perspectives from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Iceland and the United Kingdom, it also considers the role and needs of family members, and puts forward clear recommendations for improving future research, policy and practice.

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A Critical History
Author: Ian Cummins

This critical interdisciplinary study charts the modern history of mental health services, reflects upon the evolution of care in communities, and considers the most effective policies and practices for the future.

Starting with the development of community care in the 1960s, Cummins explores the political, economic, and bureaucratic factors behind the changes and crises in mental health social care, returning to those roots to identify progressive principles that can pave a sustainable pathway forward.

This is a groundbreaking contribution to debates about the role, values, and future of community care, and is vital reading for students, teachers, and researchers in the field of social work and mental health.

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Taking a Life Course Approach
Author: Alisoun Milne

Focusing on mental health rather than mental illness, this book adopts a lifecourse approach to understanding mental health and wellbeing in later life. Well-respected author and scholar Alisoun Milne explores the influences of lifecourse experiences, structural inequalities, socio-political context, history, gender and age related factors and engages with new ways of thinking about preventing mental ill health and promoting mental health in later life. Drawing together material from a number of different fields, the book analyses the meaning and determinants of mental health among older populations and offers a critical review of the lifecourse, ageing and mental health discourse for students, professionals, policy makers and researchers.

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Author: Ian Cummins

Taking a critical and radical approach, this book calls for a return to mental health social work that has personal relationships and an emotional connection between workers and those experiencing distress at its core.

The optimism that underpinned the development of community care policies has dissipated to be replaced by a form of bleak managerialism. Neoliberalism has added stress to services already under great pressure and created a danger that we could revert to institutional forms of care.

This much-needed book argues that the original progressive values of community care policies need to be rediscovered, updated and reinvigorated to provide a basis for a mental health social work that returns to fundamental notions of dignity and citizenship.

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