This book is a quick and accessible reference guide to the key concepts that social work students and professionals need to understand to be effective. The authors place practice at the center of the text, and include a host of case examples to bring the concepts to life.

Examining the essential topics of the social work curriculum, the concepts covered relate to practice, theory, policy and personal challenges. Further reading is included in each entry, so that the reader can explore what they have learned in more detail.

This book will be an invaluable resource for social work students during their studies and on their practice placement. It will also be useful for qualified social workers, who want to continue their professional education.

Mental Health

Mental health


The legal definition of mental disorder is ‘Any disorder or disability of the mind’ (DH, 2007). This broad definition encompasses mental illness, personality disorder and learning disability. The work of the mental health social worker is diverse and firmly rooted within a multi-disciplinary and legislative context. Mental health problems are common amongst the population, 25 per cent of people will experience some kind of mental health problem during the course of a year, and of those 2-4 per cent will have a severe illness with estimates varying from 0.3 to 1.4 per cent for this being enduring (Gilbert, 2003). It is this latter group of people with whom the vast majority of mental health social workers will come into contact.

This chapter will ...

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