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ItemMedical perspective on mental healthHarvey, C ; Ow, R ; Poon, AWC (Springer Nature, 2019)This chapter provides a medical perspective on mental health, including current diagnostic systems which inform and underpin treatment and service delivery. Conceptualizations of mental disorders and their advantages and disadvantages for the assessment and treatment of persons living with mental illness are outlined. Despite its limitations, diagnosis remains central to communicating a shared understanding of disordered experiences and behaviors between consumers, families, and professionals. Talking about a diagnosis in mental health is a skilled task, requiring sensitivity, an individualized approach within a trusting relationship, and sufficient time to address and revisit concerns and misunderstandings. All mental health professionals, including social workers, can helpfully contribute. Current aetiological theories in mental health are described, including the medical or brain-disease model of mental illness which has been dominant in recent decades. Although not unique to psychiatry, the biopsychosocial (-cultural) model and psychiatric formulation both help to address some of the challenges of current diagnostic conceptualizations and to counterbalance the medical model. Further, these approaches are consistent with social work theory and practice and contribute strongly to a more person-centered, recovery-oriented approach to mental health practice which recognizes social aspects of human experience. Gene-environment interactions and epigenetics are also consistent with this since they integrate accumulating research evidence about social and environmental contributions to the development and course of mental disorders into aetiological theory. They also reaffirm the value of psychosocial interventions and person-in-environment approaches to recovery. The implications of these medical perspectives for social work practice in mental health are elaborated.
ItemResearch in Mental Disorders and Mental Health PracticeMcDermott, F ; Meadows, G ; Farhall, J ; Callander, R ; Mackenzie, P ; Sundram, S ; Harvey, C ; Favilla, A ; McNab, C ; Shawyer, F ; Happell, B ; Fossey, E ; Wadsworth, Y ; Grey, F ; Meadows, ; Farhall, ; Fossey, ; Grigg, ; McDermott, ; Singh, (Oxford University Press, 2012)