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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2004): Mental Health Services - Overseas

COLLABORATION AND LOCAL NETWORKS FOR RURAL AND REMOTE PRIMARY MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

J. Fuller and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.12, 2004, p.75-84

Paper draws on a consultation with 200 stakeholders about a mental health services plan in rural South Australia to discuss primary mental health care improvement strategies. The consultation revealed difficulties with service access, acceptability and teamwork. The availability of local human service workers was leading to their being used as first level mental health contacts, but these workers were neither skilled nor supported for this. The regional mental health plan that is being rolled out will develop collaboration through regional interagency task groups, networking groups for local human service workers and the creation of the post of regional mental health co-ordinator.

MENTAL HEALTH: GLOBAL POLICIES AND HUMAN RIGHTS

P. Morrall and M. Hazelton

London: Whurr, 2003

Mental health has become a global issue. Throughout both the developed and developing worlds, the treatment and care of mentally disordered people, and the need to improve the mental health status of all citizens, has become a major political and professional concern. This is occurring at the same time as human rights are increasingly highlighted by government and non-government agencies, at national and supra-national levels. This book reviews mental health policies across the world and their relationship to the human rights of mentally disordered people. Case studies are presented, each written by an expert in the field of mental health policy within a selected country. What is recorded is a tangle of approaches, some coherent, consistent and caring, whilst others are ambiguous, anachronistic and abusive. What is concluded is the need for vigilance and activism on a global scale to protect the human rights of this particularly vulnerable group.

SOCIAL POLICY AND PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES IN POLAND: ENHANCING QUALITY OF LIFE?

W. Otrebski, R. Northway and I. Mansell

Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 7, 2003, p.363-374

The article examines the effect of the numerous social changes that have taken place in Poland over the last decade on those with intellectual disabilities. A rise in unemployment has increased demand for social assistance and a new health care system has been introduced. Specific policies to help people with disabilities, such as the Employment and Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled Act, have also been passed. High unemployment can adversely affect people with intellectual disabilities more than the average citizen and there is concern that the health needs of people with such disabilities are not being adequately or appropriately addressed. Further research is required in order to assess the extent to which the implementation of policy succeeds in meeting the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and enhances the quality of their lives.

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