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Crime victims with mental illness fearful of disclosing experiences to professionals

People with severe mental illness are up to 10 times more likely to be victims of certain types of crime but many are reluctant to disclose their experiences to mental health professionals, research has found. The three-year study by charities Mind and Victim Support also found that people with poor engagement with services were seven […]

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Why crass ‘mental patient’ costumes offend me as a patient and professional

By selling ‘mental patient’ costumes peddling damaging myths about mental health, 21st century corporations displayed attitudes that belong in the dark ages, writes Amanda Headley-White As a mental health service user and a professional I am shocked that in 2013 so-called reputable firms, including Asda, Amazon and Tesco, could blatantly perpetuate the stigma around mental […]

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CQC set to scrap pledge to inspect every mental health service after admitting it’s “impossible” to meet

The Care Quality Commission is set to scrap its pledge to inspect every individual NHS mental health service after admitting the target is “virtually impossible” to deliver. A report to be presented to the CQC board tomorrow (September 18th) recommends that the regulator rolls back on a commitment it made at the start of the […]

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Do these four ‘key practice areas’ articulate social work’s unique role in mental health?

Many social workers based in integrated mental health teams have long raised concerns that their distinct social work identity is being eroded by being given generic ‘care coordinator’ roles, often based in the medically-dominated NHS. One social worker who worked in an integrated team told me she felt 95% of her role was the same […]

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Social work cartoon: The media

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Social work cartoon: The paperwork

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‘I never told my careers advisor I wanted to be a mental health support worker when I grew up’

When I was younger I never imagined I’d be a mental health support worker but I love this job, writes Mark Taylor. My dad can’t get his head around what I do for a living. He comes out with gems like, “What, you just talk to them?” He’s an old-school Yorkshireman. He thinks that real […]

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Social work cartoon: The 50-hour week

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This profession should be challenging prejudice, not telling social workers to hide their sexuality

The findings from my research on social worker attitudes to self-disclosure raise some uncomfortable truths about the acceptability of gay and lesbian sexuality, writes social work student Jonny Lovell On my first social work placement I was instructed to hide or, if asked, deny my (gay) sexuality when working with clients. The thinking was, apparently, […]

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‘My mental health support dog has given me back my independence’

When Rachel Nickeas thought about services that could help with her mental health support needs she contacted her social worker with a novel idea. Rachel had seen the difference specially-trained support dogs could make to people with epilepsy or sight issues (a new project offering dementia support dogs has also just launched) and wondered why […]

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