Introducing Mental Health: A Practical Guide

Introducing Mental Health: A Practical Guide

Introducing Mental Health: A Practical Guide

Introducing Mental Health: A Practical Guide

Synopsis

"An easy to read, jargon-free introduction to mental health, this practical guide is written for qualified and non-qualified practitioners. The authors explain key concepts in easily understandable language, accessible even to those with no prior knowledge of the subject. They detail the major mental health disorders and the issues and implications surrounding them, and include separate chapters on personality disorder and self-harm. They provide in-depth practical information on: the Mental Health Act , diagnosis and medication, risk assessment and management, violent and challenging behaviour, and communication between agencies. This guide is full of useful information, practical suggestions, and strategies for anyone working with people who are experiencing mental illness. It will prove invaluable to housing workers, support workers, probation officers, prison health care officers, student nurses and anyone coming in to contact with mental health issues."

Excerpt

The World Health Organization estimates that about 400 million people worldwide suffer from a mental illness. If we include all types of mental disorders, about one in four people will suffer a mental disorder at some point in their lives. I don't need to be a psychiatrist to know that this figure is, if anything, an underestimate. Of the myriad varieties of mental illnesses that affect adults, some exact a more severe toll on the lives of the patient, and their families. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorders clearly stand out among these conditions for three reasons. First, because they are 'disorders', most closely approaching the illness paradigm of medicine. They begin at a certain point in a person's life, prior to which time the person was often functioning relatively well. When they do occur, though, their effect can be devastating. Thus, the second reason: these are the most crippling of all mental disorders. No wonder, then, that these three are among the leading mental disorders in the WHO league table of health problems causing disabilities. Third, because those with these disorders can be helped, through a judicious combination of medicines, psychological treatments and social interventions. We need no longer be nihilistic about the prognosis of people with mental disorders.

This book is clearly for a specific audience: those who are working in a caring profession with people with severe or chronic mental health problems, particularly people working in Britain. In Britain today, this may include a wide range of professionals, from nurses on a general medical ward to housing officers on a council estate, from social workers to placement workers helping people get back to work. Apart from the three conditions above, the book also deals with personality disorders (arguably the most difficult mental health problem to work with) and dual diagnosis, the situation when a person with a mental disorder also has a substance abuse problem. Not uncommon by any means and a complex clinical problem that needs sensitive and unique management skills. The content covers the aetiology and the clinical management of these disorders and manages to describe the significant advances in these areas, taking a balanced and sensible approach to the evidence and its implications.

What a pleasure to read a book about mental health where all the jargon has been stripped off leaving only the bare essentials. Essentials that not only capture the essence of mental health, and mental illness, but do so in a manner that makes one wonder why we need more complex psychiatric tomes at all!

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