Book review: Social Work and Mental Health (Third Edition)

Social Work and Mental Health (Third Edition)

Rating: 5/5

By Malcolm Golightley

Learning Matters, Cromwell Press

ISBN 139781844451548

A must-have in any social worker’s library, the third edition of this excellent introduction to mental health social work policy and practice updates the reader on legislation in this field.

As the introduction states, there is a need for all social workers to have a basic understanding of mental health. Using complex case studies, this text covers not only the national occupational standards but also encourages reflective thought on the ethical and moral dilemmas faced by mental health workers.

The history of mental health law is explored in a balanced way and a concise explanation is given of powers, duties and responsibilities under the Mental Health Act (2007) and the Mental Capacity Act (2005). Golightley encourages critical reflection on the legal response by weaving in the political aspects of detention and medical treatment.

Another chapter offers a calm introduction to common mental health disorders and to the skills needed for effective work with children and young people.

With a clear focus on developing the capability of the practitione, this book is to be recommended.

Colette Eaton works at Blackburn College as a support manager for students with learning disabilities and mental health needs

This review is published in the 22 January 2009 edition of Community Care

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