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Understanding Social Work Practice in Mental Health

Understanding Social Work Practice in Mental Health

December 2009 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book provides an authoritative overview of mental health theory, policy, and practice. Exploring the complex moral and ethical dimensions underpinning the field, the book engages with the key issues encountered by practitioners working in the modern mental health system. Using real world scenarios, case studies, and reflective exercises, it asks students to critically examine the world of mental health practice from the perspective of users of mental health services and their careers.

Reflecting the core values, skills, and knowledge frameworks required for professional social work qualification in the mental health context, this book will enable students to:

  • Understand mental health theory and practice as a contested arena
  • Recognize professional differences and inter-professional strengths
  • Tolerate uncertainty and complexity in practice.
  • Develop critically as reflexive mental health practitioners

Included in the text are practice dilemmas, chapter summaries, and resources to aid further study.

This book is ideal for social work students undertaking qualifying and post-qualifying training.

Understanding Mental Health and Mental Distress
Thinking the Present Historically: The Making of the Modern Mental-Health System
Care in the Community: Policy Ideals and Practice Realities
Risk versus Rights: The Tensions in Implementing Mental-Health Law
What Works in Promoting Recovery? Evidence-Based Practice and the Dynamics of Power in Mental-Health Research
Challenging Inequality and Respecting Diversity
Crossing Cultures: Interprofessional Working in Mental Health

This is an excellent text that supports the development of practitioners in the field of mental health.

Of particular value are the explorations of the recovery model and rights vs risks. These encourage the reader to not only think of own duties and responsibilities but also how the service user can be placed at the heart of assessment and planning.

Mrs Surj Sall-Dullat
Mental Health Law & Policy Team, Staffordshire County Council
October 1, 2013

I have put this book on the reading list and asked the library to order copies. The book is good at outlining some of the general principles which social workers should adopt within mental health work. However, I would have liked to see more practical examples. The majority of the social work texts focus a lot of values, which is a key area but tend to exclude how you might work with individuals in practice e.g. how might students work with an individual who is suffering from psychosis for instance?

Mr Jeremy Dixon
Dept of Social and Policy Sciences, Bath University
November 6, 2012

I found this to be an excellent all round text that covers all the issues around current mental health practice. I like that the focus remained on the role of social work in this field and it is realistic about how things are in the real world. It is clear about what is distinct about social work in mental health, something we struggle to explain in practice.
The historical content helped refresh my memory as to why things are as they are and I will be incorporating a lot of it's material into my lectures, hence me using it as a key text.
Very easy to read and it helps to make sense of the core issues in mental health.

It's actually for the mental health module and not observation.

Ms Sandra Jamieson
Faculty of Health and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University
August 3, 2011

Excellent text, which covers exactly the issues and areas of knowledge required by our programme. Well written and well researched, this is already popular with students

Mr Jim Rogers
other, Lincoln University
February 9, 2011

The chapter themes around which the book is organised facilitate greater depth of thinking and reflection on the part of the reader whilst also presenting the information in an accessible way.

Ms Kelly Alexander
Applied Social Science, University of Bedfordshire
September 16, 2010

Good isuses and themes arise in this book. It will act as a good introduction to mental health social work and practice.

Mr Lee Quinney
Health, sport and science, Glamorgan University
June 7, 2010

Very useful monography with up-to-date comments (economic crisis) and informations. Readable also to the bachelor students as well as master students. Very needed in Czech republic to compare existing approaches to the work with psychotics.

Ms Stanislava Sevcikova
Social Policy and Social Work, Masaryk University
May 24, 2010

A valuable introduction to mental health social work that addresses key issues for practice and recognises the important contribution of social work to interprofessional working in mental health.

Ms Kate Karban
Department of Social Sciences & Humanities, Bradford University
May 6, 2010

An excellent overview of this topic.

Mrs Liz Lefroy
Social Work , The North East Wales Institute of Higher Education
March 25, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

Sage College Publishing

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