1.1 Introduction

Like many subjects, mental health is complex. This is partly because the language used in discussions about mental health is diverse, can mean different things to different people, and can sometimes be misleading. For example, the term ‘mental health’ is usually used in discussions about just the opposite: ‘mental illness’! There are, however, good reasons for the confusion surrounding its language. One reason is that decisions about what constitutes ‘mental health’, ‘men
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • distinguish between mental health and mental illness;

  • give examples of how community resource centres can benefit the well being of individuals and communities in terms of mental health.


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Introduction

This unit explores a number of issues relating to mental health practice. It starts by helping you define and understand the difference between mental health and mental illness. It also explores the discrimination that can arise when people experience some form of mental distress. You will look at how professionals working within the community can counter some of the effects of discrimination and stigma and contribute to the well-being of the wider community, as well as those who use their se
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

The content ackn
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References

Alcohol Concern (2002) Report on the Mapping of Alcohol Services in England, London, Alcohol Concern.
Arnon, R., Degli Esposti, S. and Zern, M. A. (1995) ‘Molecular biological aspects of alcohol-induced liver disease,’ Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 19, pp. 247–256.
Buonopane, A. and Petrakis, I. (2005) ‘Pharmacology of alcohol use
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Revision questions

Question 1

Drinking alcohol produces a complex set of effects on a number of body systems.

  • (a) On which system are the main acute effects most likely to lead to sudden death, and why?


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Summary

  1. The main acute effects of ethanol are on the nervous system, causing characteristic changes in behaviour and judgement. There are particular issues with regard to driving, with different countries setting various ‘safe’ limits for blood-ethanol concentration. Very high blood-ethanol concentrations can be fatal.

  2. Hangovers are unpleasant and are poorly understood. Various mechanisms have been proposed including direct effects of ethanol o
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1.6.2 Treating alcohol-related liver disorders

Although considerable progress has been made in the treatment of many other chronic medical conditions, scant progress has been made in the treatment of cirrhosis. In over 8000 people admitted to hospitals in the Oxford region of the UK with liver cirrhosis during a 30-year observation period, 34 per cent had died one year after their admission and this death rate remained more or less constant (Roberts et al., 2005).

The largely pessimistic view of the failure of treatment of liver dam
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7.7 References for Extract 6

Barclay, R. (1982) Social Workers: Their Role and Tasks, London, NISW, Bedford Square Press.

De Long, P. and Berg, I.K. (2001) ‘Co-constructing Cooperation with Mandated Clients’, Social Work, 46(4), pp. 361–74.

Department of Health (DoH) (1998) Modernising Social Services, London, HMSO.

Harris, R. (1997) ‘Power’ in Davies, M. (ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Social Work, Oxford, Blackwell.

Hugman, R. (1991) Power in the Caring
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5.1 Children's rights

Initial information about the Palmer family

The story of the Palmer family is presented in the audio below, and it provides material about working with families. The case study is a dramatic presentation of a reconstituted family consisting of three generations living in the same household. During th
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3.10 References for Extract 2

Bean, P. and Melville, J. (1989) Lost Children of the Empire, London, Unwin Hyman.

Erikson, E. H. (1950) Childhood and Society, New York, Norton Books.

Goffman, E. (1963) Stigma, Harmondsworth, Penguin.

Goffman, E. (1968) Asylums, Harmondsworth, Pelican.

Hall, S. (1990) ‘Cultural identity and diaspora’ in Rutherford, J. (ed.) Identity, Community, Culture and Difference, Lawrence and Wishart, pp. 222–237.

Humphries, S. and
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3.8 Psychosocial theories of identity

This section does not discuss theories of identity in detail. It is important to note, however, that the theory associated with Erik Erikson, a German psychoanalyst who worked in the USA from the 1930s, has been very influential in social work and continues to be so. Erikson (1950) proposed eight stages of life, from infancy to old age, and each stage had its own particular task in the development of an individual's identity.

Erikson's theory is one of several and should not be regarded
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3.5 Identity and identities

So far in this extract we have considered the importance of people's individual biographies to an understanding of who they are. Such biographies play an important part in making us who we are and we will now explore some of the ideas that have contributed to social workers' understanding of the concept and importance of ‘identity’. These ideas are all examples of the kind of ‘knowledge’ or ‘theory’ that informs social workers' practice.


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3.4 Case study 2

A widely used approach in child care was the ‘curative’ policy (Midwinter, 1994). This sought to treat those children and adults deemed deficient in some way in locations specially set up for the purpose. These institutions were often forbidding places, offering a harsh ‘cure’ to those unfortunate enough to be admitted to them. This was the fate of many disabled children in the course of the 20th century. Of particular relevance is Out of Sight: The Experience of Disability 1900–
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3.2 Biography as history

So far in this extract you have looked at your life and some of the main influences on you. This process of self reflection, if developed, could provide the basis of your life story. If you decided to ‘tell your story’, how would you structure it? Most probably, as a chronological account of your life, from childhood to adulthood. The chances are that you would do this against the backdrop of the social and political events of the time, and you would illustrate it with historical details.
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2.8 References for Extract 1

Banks, S. (2001) Ethics and Values in Social Work, 2nd edn, London, BASW/Macmillan.

British Association of Social Workers (BASW) (2002) Code of Ethics for Social Work, BASW,

Dalrymple, J. and Burke, B. (1995) Anti Oppressive Practice and the Law, Buckingham, Open University Press.

Howe, D. (1999) ‘Values in Social Work’ in Davies, M., Howe, D. and Kohli, R. Assessing Competence and
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2.5 Component 3: Skills

We all have considerable skills that we develop as we go through life. Many of them are so familiar to us that we probably don't think about them. For example, the reading skill which you are using right now is a highly complex and sophisticated one which took years to develop to this level. Our approach to skills is again to provide you with a framework to help with your learning and understanding.

We use four categories of skill in our framework:


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2.4.3 Ethics and accountability

Ethics is one aspect of values. One way of understanding ethics is in terms of the resolution of professional moral dilemmas. Social workers frequently play an important part in resolving such moral dilemmas, for example when making decisions involving risk, protection and restriction of liberty. The way in which you act in these situations should be guided by something beyond your personal beliefs alone. You have to be aware of the publicly stated values of your agency and make skilful judge
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2.4.2 What are social work values?

Traditionally, one of the things that distinguishes a profession is that it has a set of principles to which its members have to be committed and must put into practice. Sarah Banks defines social work values as:

a set of fundamental moral/ethical principles to which social workers are/should be committed.

(Banks, 2001, p. 6)

The British Association of Social Workers issued a revised C
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2.4.1 Social work values

You will have come across the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers when you looked at the Framework documents for your country. These Codes are the main documents relating to values in the framework documents. Before looking in detail at the different aspects of the code, it is helpful to look at what ‘values’ are, where they come from, and the context in which social work values have arisen and are being put into practice.


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