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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2010): Mental health services - UK

Adult mental health in a changing international context: the relevance to social work

S. Ramon

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 39, 2009, p. 1615-1622

Mental health interventions in Western societies are moving in the direction of recovery, and a focus on those experiencing mental ill health being able to manage their condition and lead a meaningful life. However, at times of crisis compulsory hospital admission or treatment in the community may be invoked. This article looks at the current role of British social workers in the recovery movement and in compulsory treatment.

Is community support always the answer?

A. Holman

Community Living, vol. 23, no.2, 2009, p. 6-7

Argues that people with learning difficulties may need the help of a professional broker in using their Individual Budgets to put together the package of services they want.

'It's against our law, never mind anyone else's': the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and adults with learning disabilities

K. Stalker and J. Lerpiniere

Disability and Society, vol. 24, 2009, p. 829-843

This study examines Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (the provision of goods, services and facilities) in relation to adults with learning disabilities. It presents the views of people with learning disabilities, gathered through focus groups and interviews, about the Act and about using services. Awareness of their rights was generally low, although activists were better informed. While usually offered reasonable service in shops, pubs and other facilities, people were sometimes treated unfairly. This could take the form of being treated with a lack of courtesy and respect, failure to make reasonable adjustments, and outright refusal to serve. People felt a strong sense of injustice when treated in these ways, but the majority were unlikely to complain.

The Mental Capacity Act

A. Picton and S. Elsmore

Community Living, vol.23, no.2, 2009, p. 20-23

Presents an overview of some of the key provisions of the Mental Capacity Act important to health and social care practice and looks in particular at how it affects people with learning difficulties, including some case studies.

Mental health and the Gujarati community: accounting for the low incidence rates of mental illness

K. Patel and I. Shaw

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 14, Dec. 2009, p. 12-24

This article explores the under-use by people from the Gujarati community of mental health services in the UK. It considers two key questions: 1) whether this group genuinely enjoys very good mental health (and if so, why) and 2) whether there are any factors which hold members of this community back from seeking help.

Mental health care co-ordinators' perspectives on carers' assessments

J. Wales and S. Pryjmachuk

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 14, Dec. 2009, p. 46-55

The UK has around 1.5 million relatives and friends caring for people with mental health problems. Although such carers have a legal right to an assessment of their own needs, uptake appears to be low. This article reports on a small study which explored what eight mental health care co-ordinators thought the barriers to uptake of carers' assessments might be, and how practice might be improved.

Mental health in a multi-ethnic society: a multidisciplinary handbook. 2nd ed.

S. Fernando and F. Keating (editors)

London: Routledge, 2010

Now in its second edition, this book is an authoritative, comprehensive guide to issues around race, culture and mental health service provision, including training, service user involvement, and policy development. It has been updated to reflect the changes in the UK over the last ten years and features entirely new chapters by over twenty authors, expanding the range of topics by including issues of particular concern for women, family therapy, and mental health of refugees and asylum seekers. Divided into four sections, the book covers: issues around mental health service provision for black and minority ethnic (BME) communities, including refugees and asylum seekers; critical accounts of how these issues may be confronted, with examples of projects that attempt to do just that; programmes and innovative services that appear to meet some of the needs of BME communities; and, a critical but constructive account of lessons to be drawn from earlier sections and discussion of the way ahead.

Mental health, social exclusion and social inclusion

J. Secker

Mental Health Review Journal, vol.14, Dec. 2009, p. 4-11

The concept of social exclusion came into widespread use in the UK following the publication of a Social Exclusion Unit report in 2004. In that report, no succinct definition of social exclusion was attempted, although the term was implicitly linked with a wide range of social problems. Based on a comparison of the ways of thinking about social exclusion within the mental health literature, this article uses a social systems approach to understanding it. The approach is later used to examine the position of people with mental health needs in the UK. It is concluded that social policy initiatives need to focus both on tackling the structural barriers that work to exclude people with mental health needs, and on challenging deep-rooted prejudices that reinforce those barriers.

Understanding and promoting access for people with learning difficulties: seeing the opportunities and challenges of risk

J. Seale and M. Nind (editors)

London: Routledge, 2010

The issue of access is at the forefront of the practical challenges facing people with learning difficulties and people working with or supporting them. This book brings together evidence, narratives and discussions that question and advance our understanding of the concept of access for people with learning difficulties. The authors draw on their expertise to analyse a wide range of situations, including access to public spaces, citizenship education, community participation, and employment. Through a series of related chapters, key researchers in the field of inclusion and learning difficulties enrich the access debate by:

  • considering what kind of access people with learning difficulties want;
  • identifying effective practice in relation to facilitating and promoting access;
  • revealing the capability of people with learning difficulties to seek and achieve access to potentially exclusionary communities;
  • providing a space for a wide range of people to share access stories.
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