Topics: Social work, Sociology, Social justice Pages: 6 (1750 words) Published: December 23, 2012
Role of social work in mental health services.
Social Care Institute for Excellence analyses research has find out that. About one in six people in England experiences some form of mental health problem at any given time, with some groups more likely to be affected than others. Social workers have historically had a major role to play in co-ordinating and delivering services for people with mental health problems. At these time of much change to professional roles and organisational structures, where concerns have been expressed about the diminution of the distinctive part that social workers have played in the broader provision of health and social services for people with mental health problems, it is worth noting the role and contribution of social work in community mental health provision of statutory community mental health care, integrated, assertive outreach and crisis intervention teams in the UK. Professional perspectives and values:

People who use the service value the non-stigmatising help and access to services provided by social workers and the core values of social work practice directly support the principles underpinning self-directed support and the independent living movement. Similarly, analysis of the "essential capabilities" required to practice in mental health also emphasises the importance of a professional value base which promotes dignity, human worth and social justice, and includes a commitment to the principles and social perspectives of the recovery model. Indeed, research exploring community care practices found that social workers frequently identified empowerment as a fundamental principle in their practice. There is also widespread agreement among people who use services, practitioners and researchers that service developments such as mental health promotion, crisis resolution, and the implementation of support based on the principles of recovery, must be explicitly underpinned by social perspectives. These perspectives can help promote access for people susceptible to discriminatory institutional practices, including people from minority ethnic communities. Holistic approaches

People who use services value social workers who are able to provide practical help, counselling and advocacy on their behalf have responded positively to practice that combines practical assistance with emotional support. A study that examined attitudes and role perceptions in mental health teams in a London borough concluded that of all professional groups, social workers were most likely to identify the importance of support to children combining individual emotional and practical support, as well as appreciation of their social circumstances. The significant role of social work in promoting the involvement of people using services and developing systemic approaches to practice with families and groups has also been identified. Joint-working initiatives between social services and family, which encompassed an extended therapeutic role for social work practitioners that included family therapy, have identified positive outcomes including quicker response times, more effective prioritisation, improved multidisciplinary work and a more positive experience for children and families. Reducing isolation:

Several studies have identified the challenges that people with mental health problems face in sustaining and preserving social contacts and social networks. People with mental health problems who live in more isolated rural areas and small communities with little service provision are likely to find it more difficult to develop and preserve supportive social contacts and networks. Research into the development of social networks in rural areas has shown the crucial role that some services, such as drop-in and day centres, play in promoting and sustaining relationships between people who use services. Social worker and social care has provided opportunities for people who use services to work together to...
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