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Mental health social work is at an impasse. On the one hand, the emphasis in recent policy documents on the social roots of much mental distress ,and in the recovery approaches popular with service users seems to indicate an important role for a holistic social work practice. On the other hand, social workers have often been excluded from these initiatives and the dominant approach within mental health continues to be a medical one, albeit supplemented by short-term psychological interventions. In this short form book, part of the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series, Jeremy Weinstein draws on case studies and his own experience as a mental health social worker, to develop a model of practice that draws on notions of alienation, anti-discriminatory practice and the need for both workers and service users to find ‘room to breathe’ in an environment shaped by managerialism and marketisation.

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Social work and mental health Jeremy Weinstein Introduction: No health without mental health Let us start with the context. An estimated one in four of us will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in our lives. Of the 2.6 million people claiming long-term disability benefits in 2012, 43% had a mental or behavioural disorder. This huge level of suffering comes at a cost: emotional, social and also financial (in 2012, £105 billion per year, a figure expected to double in the next 20 years). These statistics come from the Coalition Government

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51 THREE Citizenship and mental health Introduction This chapter examines broader notions of citizenship, placing the impact of discrimination against people with mental health problems within this context. It argues that the discrimination that people with mental health problems face amounts to an ongoing denial of the full rights that citizenship should bestow. It then goes on to examine the impact of neoliberal social policy and austerity. These policies in the UK have increased inequality and poverty, which have broader impacts on mental health. In

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79 FOUR Contemporary mental health services This chapter will examine some of the key issues in mental health services. One of the most important developments in mental health services is the belated and far from complete recognition of the importance of service user perspectives. The chapter begins by a consideration of these issues and then goes on to examine a range of contemporary concerns within services and mental health social work. Surviving psychiatry Sick role Parsons (1975) identified four main elements to the ‘sick role’. One approach to

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Introduction Street triage has been defined as a collaborative mental health and policing approach to crisis care. Street triage practitioners, consisting of social workers and nurses, act as a conduit between service users and emergency services, and offer advice, support and assessment for individuals in crisis. Such practitioners have considerable scope and discretion in exercising both care and control functions in mental health, including determining which service users should be deprived of their liberty and in what circumstances. However, this is set

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studies explored general or parent caregivers’ experiences and found that managing growing responsibilities and complexities, alongside their own fear and uncertainty, substantially and adversely impacted family and caregiver quality of life and health ( Czeisler et al, 2021 ; Bailey et al, 2022 ). Mental health family carers had similar experiences to general carers; however, there were nuanced negative impacts from restrictions on services and the fears of service users associated with the pandemic ( Walters and Petrakis, 2023 ). Mental health family carers were

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141 SIX Health promotion and mental health Introduction Methods of dealing with the problems of mental ill-health have changed considerably in the UK over the past 200 years. The former asylums so prevalent in Victorian times were places not centred on treatment but on containment and even punishment (Scull, 2016). Today, although there are several psychiatric hospitals in the UK, both NHS and independent, the emphasis is on therapeutic approaches towards enabling patients with challenging mental illnesses to return to the community. In England, there are

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241 SEVENTEEN Mental health and multiple exclusions Claire Luscombe Introduction Throughout history, health (or, more specifically, poor health) and exclusion have been intrinsically linked. From the leper, to those inflicted with venereal disease, to the mad confined to ‘Ships of fools’, to the poor and the homeless, ‘the game of exclusion’, as Foucault (1972: 6) called it, has linked these two concepts, with the result that over the centuries, people have been confined in buildings or places where they all have been treated in ‘oddly similar fashion

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0 five Mental health Introduction Mental health is an integral part of overall health and well-being. It has many definitions but is generally described as a “positive sense of well-being and a belief in our own worth and the worth of others” (HEA, 1997, p 2). Having positive mental health means being able to live life to its full potential, to be able to cope with change, the ability to understand and make sense of surroundings. This important aspect of overall health shapes life experiences and is something that individuals, groups and communities aspire

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115 8 Mental health Rich Moth and Scott Massie Introduction This chapter provides an overview of some of the key political processes shaping mental health policy and their implications for social work practice in this setting. It begins with a historical outline of policy responses to mental distress from the era of the asylum, through the 20th-century development of, first, hospital and then community care, and into the present period characterised by increasingly market-oriented and residualised service provision and individual responsibility placed on

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