Boundary Spanning: An Ecological Reinterpretation of Social Work Practice in Health and Mental Health Systems

Boundary Spanning: An Ecological Reinterpretation of Social Work Practice in Health and Mental Health Systems

Boundary Spanning: An Ecological Reinterpretation of Social Work Practice in Health and Mental Health Systems

Boundary Spanning: An Ecological Reinterpretation of Social Work Practice in Health and Mental Health Systems

Synopsis

An understanding of the most important laws and ethical issues that have shaped the profession is essential for the effective practice of social work. Thus this comprehensive approach to health and mental health care for social workers centers on ethical and legal issues. The book includes critical information regarding the systems and organizations in which social workers practice; the nature of the relationship between social workers and clients/consumers/communities; planning, contracting, and strategizing functions; intervention techniques using advocacy, brief work, case management, and group work; and evaluation. Armed with this knowledge, social workers have the ability to intervene as advocates as well as to evaluate their work and their clients' progress.

Excerpt

The purpose of Boundary Spanning: An Ecological Reinterpretation of Social Work Practice in Health and Mental Health Systems is to provide a framework and sufficient information to enable social workers to work efficaciously for and with people with health and mental health problems. In this book, physical and mental health are viewed as parts of a global definition of health that is consonant with a contemporary understanding of the etiology and symptomatology of illness (Mordacci and Sobel 1998). The traditionally separate classifications of illnesses as mental or physical cannot be sustained in view of present-day knowledge (Gur et al. 2000). Many illnesses that are considered mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and serious depression, have critical biological dimensions (Keefe and Harvey 1994), and many that are classified as physical illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, certain kinds of cancer, and stroke, can effect cognitive ability, mood, and affect. In the fourth edition of its Diagnostic and StatisticalManual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association (1994) includes criteria for mental disorders associated with a general medical condition (Munson 2000), and a growing body of work focuses on psychological problems that mask medical disorders (Morrison 1997).

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2001) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Among the specific health problems that . . .

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