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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2010): Mental health services - overseas

There is a long way to go: a nationwide survey of professional training for mental health practitioners in China

X. Gao and others

Health Policy, vol. 98, 2010, p. 74-81

This article presents findings of research on sociodemographic characteristics, training experiences and perceptions of training in a large national sample of mental health practitioners in China. Only a minority of respondents reported having educational qualifications higher than a Bachelor's degree, professional certification, and full-time employment in the field. Reported training experiences comprised mainly short-term continuing education, heavily theoretical and lacking in supervised practice. Although respondents typically recognised the value of training in fostering effective practice, satisfaction with the overall quality of training programmes and access to supervision was rated as relatively low. In the light of these findings it was recommended that:

  1. input from professional bodies is needed to shape training policy
  2. universities should have a greater role in developing accredited professional training programmes
  3. on-the-job supervision should be mandated within discipline-specific training programmes.

What policies and policy processes are needed to ensure that people with psychiatric disabilities have access to appropriate housing?

S. Battams and F. Baum

Social Science and Medicine, vol.70, 2010, p. 1026-1034

This study explored the processes which prevented effective provision of housing for people with a psychiatric disability over a five year period (2000-2005) of mental health system reform in South Australia. Despite encouraging policy statements, a series of barriers to the effective provision of housing and linked support were identified. Chief among these were policies which reduced public housing provision, a lack of strategic coordination across policy sectors and of collaboration in the implementation of policy, a continual round of reorganisations within both sectors which disrupted personal links and advocacy networks, and the existence of professional and popular discourses and practices which impeded a focus on housing as a crucial determinant of mental health.

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