I’ll get to the crux of this as I know mental health social work isn’t exactly a job that comes with plenty of downtime.
I’m in the process of planning my mental health social work coverage for 2013 and would really value your input. After all, the whole purpose of me being here is to write, commission and flag up articles on issues that matter to social workers. I also hope to provide practical resources along the way that can help in your day-to-day work.
I’ll discuss a few ideas I’ve had in a moment, but if you want to skip straight to submitting your ideas go to the form at the foot of this blog (or click here). If you can spare two minutes to give your views it’d be really appreciated.
Why this blog post?
Journalism is too often produced by journalists for journalists. I’ve worked in places where the barometer of success is how many articles are picked up by national newspapers. I don’t want to work that way and I’m glad ComCare doesn’t work that way. My idea of success is whether our coverage is relevant to you and shaped by you.
So, what are the issues impacting your job that you want to see explored, discussed, analysed, investigated in 2013? Who are the people you’d like to see interviewed?
What don’t I publish enough of? I’m pretty new to the social work field and am gradually getting to grips with the different issues in mental health.
The highs and lows of 2012
When I look back at the nine months or so that I’ve been here, I feel I’ve boosted my knowledge on many issues surrounding the Mental Health Act and I’ve been pleased with some of my coverage on AMHP-related work. I’ve also enjoyed writing about the importance of the social model in mental health.
But there is plenty of room for improvement. Here are a few areas I hope to improve our coverage on this year. Do you agree?
- Mental health social work in children’s services. In my opinion I’ve not done anywhere near enough in this area in 2012.
- Issues surrounding substance misuse social work and handling dual diagnosis cases.
- The views of people who use services. I’ve run a few pieces but I’d like to get more articles and opinion from people with experience of services, particularly as I’ve used services myself in the past.
- More coverage on research. It’s so hard for practitioners to keep abreast of research in mental health. Instinctively it feels like I should be providing some summaries of key studies relevant to mental health social workers. What do you think?
- What are the challenges in forensic mental health social work? I’ve not done too much in this area.
- More pieces by professionals working in mental health from different backgrounds. I’ve loved the debates that have sprung up from guest pieces provided by great bloggers like Mental Health Cop.
- Showing the realities of mental health social work. I’ve been trying to set up visits – along the lines of this one I did with a child protection team – to CMHTs and CAMHS. I’ll keep pushing the councils and NHS trusts to get these set up.
There are also several issues I think merit investigation. For example, the extent of the mental health bed crisis and how much is being spent by NHS Trusts who are forced to send patients out-of-area, often to private providers, as a result.
So, yes, let me know what you think via the form below. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you leave me your email address in the form I’ll let you know where I get to checking out the issue you suggest. I can’t promise I’ll get to them all, but I’ll certainly do my best to use your ideas to improve what we do on mental health this year.