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Mental Health And Young People Social Work Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

What is mental health with young people?

Mental health can present itself in many different way such as; anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Mental disorders as suggested above may not only occur at times that could be a predictable reaction to a life changing event such as bereavement (Colman, 2006). A mental disorder is a pattern of psychological symptoms that may show a common foundation or recognisable pattern, that will negatively affect important areas of functioning or significantly increase the risk of death (Colman, 2006).

Many different reports have been researched for this essay and they suggest different ages for a young person therefore, this essay will suggest that a young person is aged between 12 and 18.

This essay will concentrate on the aspect of self-harm in young people. Self-harm is an act which consists of deliberate injury or pain being inflicted to one’s own body. Most commonly this takes the form of cutting however, some other forms include; burning, scratching, picking, scraping, biting and sometimes pulling hair or eyelashes out. Self-harm is often used as a release of emotions that cannot be spoken and can offer the individual the means to attempt to deal with distress (Babiker et al, 2001).

Historical context of social work within the service/field

Twenty years ago there was an emphasis on joint working however, this is not easy to achieve due to organisational cultures and professional language barriers but research does show this to have better outcomes for young people and their families, this concept of joint work has continued through the last two decades (Southall, 2005).Government policy in recent years had supported joint work and also occasionally placed statutory duty upon agencies to achieve it. These difficulties can be overcome by the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) 8 states the need to adapt to changing contexts and to operate effectively with in multi-agency settings. Within the Standards of Proficiency (SoP) standard 9 depicts the abilities to work with others, including those in a different role. PCF 9 should be look at as to why these professionals found it difficult to make this transition as they should be responsible for their own learning and development which could have broken down the barriers between the different professionals.

Is there continuity or has the social work field changed over time, and if so how and over what period?

For social workers, procedures changed to this difficult multi agency joint work, this placed higher demands upon the social workers who were not as highly trained as other agencies in mental health issues. Changes were made to the Mental Health Act 1983 in 2007 including Professional roles: it is broadening the group of practitioners who can take on the functions currently performed by the approved social worker and responsible medical officer.

Consider the ethos of the social work field or service you are presenting

The ideas or ethos of mental health has changed immensely over the past two decades. Mental health is more open to the public as an illness that affects many people and does not make these people a definite threat to those around them.

Social work has a significant role to play in coordinating efforts to support individuals and groups who may often have negative experiences and perceptions of mental health services.

Social workers need to maintain a broader social view of mental health problems especially in regard to concerns about discriminatory practices, civil rights and social justice this aspect is included in the PCF 2,3 and 4.

In accordance to the PCF 5 social workers have the knowledge, training and education that allows them to develop understanding and awareness of issues such as oppression, power and social exclusion and it has made social workers aware of their own abilities for oppression towards others.

What is the service user/carers view about the service you have chosen?

What is the role of the social worker in providing the service?

What is the role of the social worker in providing the service?

Social workers have had a key role of providing an independent view in assessments.

Providing critical perspective drawn from a range of social sciences has been paramount to the training of social workers in the mental health services this complies with the PCF of knowledge and SoP 13 which also relates to knowledge and its use.

Additional responsibilities will be likely for social workers employed in a mental health trust such as care management and representation of social circumstances in mental health tribunals.

Social work practise is underpinned to promote social justice and challenge oppression, therefore social workers are in theory well placed to aid other mental health professional’s working with service users and to collaborate on ways of recovery. These roles include the use of all of the PCF along with SoP 9, 11 and 13.

How does current policy about the service (adults or children and young people) impact on service delivery?

The Children’s Act 1989, suggest that a child is considered to be at harm if there is impairment of health which includes mental health. The definition of a child in need is one that is unlikely to achieve a reasonable standard of health (mental) without the provision of services.

The Health Act 1999 contains a extensive section on partnership with other authorities which suggests that the NHS will exercise their functions along with other authority bodies and they will co-operate with one another to secure and advance the health and welfare of people in England and Wales.

The white paper ‘Modernising Social Services’ (1998) suggests the launch of the Quality Protects programme will transform the whole of the children’s social services. Improving protection with eight regional Commissions for Care Standards and working to national standards.

The white paper ‘Modernising Health and Social Services-National Priorities Guidance’ (1998) commits to reducing waiting times for services along with contributing to the development of outreach teams. This paper also wants to increase and improve services for children and adolescents including early intervention and prevention programmes for children.

What do you consider might be the future of the service/field?

Modern practise


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