Social work practice with those who were labeled "insane" in the parlance of the early 20th century (individuals found to meet the legal definition of "insanity" at a "lunacy" court hearing and committed to institutions), arose from a socially progressive reform effort known as the aftercare movement. As the earliest form of "psychiatric" social work practice, aftercare functions became the vehicle for linking the emerging methods and tasks of social work with the existing structures of psychiatric care. That link proved to be an important one for widening the perspective on what constituted adequate care for people with the most serious mental illnesses, as well as for the definition and development of social work's professional turf.
The rise of social work in public mental health through aftercare of people with serious mental illnesses illustrates the important reality that strengthening a profession takes place by creating turf, not just defending it (Barnes and Mercer, 2006, 45-8). This perspective thrives in unstable and shifting circumstances when prevailing definitions and boundaries are in flux. It is a useful perspective for the social work profession to confront the upheaval and uncertainty currently experienced in human services (Campbell, 2000, 95).
From the 1906 establishment of an aftercare committee with a single social work-trained aftercare agent at New York's Manhattan State Hospital to 1930 when U.S. census data reported social workers employed in state mental hospitals in half of the states in the country, social work became identified with the function of aftercare. The processes that established this identification illustrate critical connections between social activism for an "idea" and the creation of professional "place." Such connections are important sources of professional legitimization through establishing what sociologist Andrew Abbott (1988) referred to as "jurisdictional claims" or assertions of specific links between a profession and its work (Barnes and Mercer, 2006,
In the early years of the 20th century, social work's practice boundaries expanded to include direct work with people with the most serious mental illnesses through the function of aftercare. Using complementary and mutually reinforcing efforts to promote social reform in the care of people with mental illness and then to provide that care directly, the young social work profession established its presence in the emerging public mental health field and significantly broadened prevailing standards of acceptable care.
A considerable amount of research in the field of prevention and promotion in mental health has been reported during recent years, but most of this research has come from the developed countries with very little from the developing countries but the patients in the need of mental health are spread through all the countries.
WHO or World Health Organization had also came up with its own definition of health i.e. that health "is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence ofr disease or infirmity (WHO 1946). Although it is a positivist definition as compared to the first one, it was still assailed because it was basically utopian which could hardly be attained by most individuals.
This is as a multidimensional system acknowledging the social, psychological and physical components, (including sense of belonging and a support network), promoting reflection on what it really means to be socially included. It is the maximum integration of people with mental health difficulties into the general community that entitles them to equal opportunities and responsibilities that are available in the society (Boutillier and Croucher, p 136).
Cultural awareness for the delivery of all quality mental health care, but it has particular significance for the mental health field because of the nature of the practices. Concepts of normal and abnormal behavior are the basis for psychiatric diagnosis.
Hence, it is imperative for professionals in the nursing field to have a strong grasp of the mental health and mental illness concepts and disorders in order to be able to render quality nursing care to all the individuals that are encountered in the health care setting.
The 1983 Mental Health Act, which applies to England and Wales, was offered and passed to "govern the admission of people to psychiatric hospital against their will, their rights while detained, discharge from hospital, and aftercare" (Priory Group, par. 1; Turner, 2006).
Mental health refers to the cognitive and emotional wellbeing. Mental disorders are very common affecting about 10% of the population at any one time. Twenty five percent of the population suffers some kind of mental disorder over their lifetime. Recent studies show that, ¼ of the adult population had a mental illness.
In addition, these health conditions can be known as a mental disorder.
There are various types of mental illness that can be said to be serious. Such illness includes schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder,
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