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Social Work and Psychiatry in Mental Health - Essay Example

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Social Work and Psychiatry in Mental Health

The paper “Social Work and Psychiatry in Mental Health” discusses the interaction of social and mental practices. Social work is all about improving vulnerable peoples’ and communities’ circumstances through building on their personal strengths and the situations that have led to their mental distress. The main setbacks for such an effort have been mental health practices, in terms of both services and structure. This paper will review how social work affects mental health practices and vice-versa how such practices impact social services. This will be achieved through the perspectives of different psychiatrists and psychologists, a review of The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and historical events, which support the position taken in this paper. By doing so, the paper will create a clear understanding of the policies and structures behind the effect of psychiatry on social practice in mental institutions. Social workers are experts when it comes to identifying social and environmental factors that led to mental disturbance, like stigma and abuse of personal development, through questions, reflections and challenges within the multidisciplinary context. Moreover, the individual’s strength, aspirations and vulnerabilities in the cultural context, and social and family relationships are analysed critically from the start. By mobilising a range of community resources, network and voluntary services, the social worker works with service users to encourage them to feel socially included. In their duty of offering protection to those who may be at risk from harm, the social workers must balance the legal and human rights issues of risk and safety to achieve the least restrictive alternative within their statutory roles and responsibilities. They also work together with family care to seek change in the social and environmental context hence supporting the recovery of an individual (Routledge, 2005, p. 89). Concepts, Theory and Research Related To Relevant Practice Issues Odegaard (Bennewith, O., Amos, T., Lewis G., Katsakou, C, Wykes T., Morris R and Priebe, 2003, p. 78)highlighted reports that indicated a higher incidence of mental illness among immigrants could be explained by the genetically predisposed of some migrants to develop mental illness. Castle Der and Murray (1991) indicate that the intensity of mental disturbance due to migration differs with races and ethnic groups migrating to the same destination. In the UK, migrants from India, Pakistan and Afro-Caribbean origin showed higher rates of schizophrenia when compared with native, white British people (Boyle, 2010, p. 142). In mental health practice, the challenge of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is evident (Penguin and Peck, 2004). Measuring for PTSD was introduced after the Vietnam war. PTSD is highly contested; some claim that normal expressions of grief and distress which arise from abnormal experiences should not be turned into a medical problem. Psychiatry tends to underestimate the impact of PTSD, which can result from delays in the asylum application process, detention, obstacles to employment, societal attitude, loneliness, racial discrimination and boredom, all of which contribute to mental health problems (Penguin and Peck, 2004, p. 152). Pat Bracken, a consultant psychiatrist who was seeing refugees with mental health problems affirmed that formulating the suffering of asylum seekers in terms of PTSD had an effect when it came to locating their problems in their home country (Bracken, 2002, p.100) According to Bracken and Thomas (2001) post migration stress added to previous trauma creating an additional mental health risk. Athwart notes that asylum seekers who were not detained dispersed across the country as they waited for a decision on their application. The uncertainty and anxiety associated with the delay was a mental health risk for the asylum seekers. Those whose applications were terminated experienced stress as they were unable to work and support from ...Show more
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The research paper creates a clear understanding of the policies and structures behind the effect of psychiatry on social practice in mental institutions. Psychiatry plays a significant role in shaping the practices of mental health structure and services…
Social Work and Psychiatry in Mental Health
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