I have been a social worker for 11 years so the issue of discussing sexuality with service users should present no difficulty to me. Unfortunately, I have been a typically repressed English man for 37 years so the subject is one I’ve struggled with.
This excellent DVD gives a good guide about the issues surrounding sexuality and people with mental health problems. It is presented with a mix of service users and professionals discussing the issues.
One of the reasons I have struggled with this issue is that there is a professional tightrope to be walked here. There is little doubt about the importance of sexuality for service users. However, they also have a right to privacy and if I was in the situation where I was being assessed by a mental health professional I feel sure, if asked about my sexuality, I would reply: “None of your bloody business.”
What Unspoken does so well is provide the perfect platform to allow professionals to watch and discuss these issues, so the right questions can be asked, and asked at the right times. Furthermore, I feel that the DVD would be excellent as part of an education programme for people with mental health problems. I cannot recommend it enough.
Peter Corser is a social worker in mental health
This review is publlished in the 26 February issue of Community Care magazine