Discrimination and empowerment in mental health social work essay

The importance of anti-discriminatory practice will be discussed followed by an introduction and explanation of the PCS model of analyses devised by Thompson ; this is used to highlight discrimination and oppression on three different levels. A specified group of service users will be focussed upon and by using the Thompson PCS model of analyses the different levels of discrimination and oppression they may experience within society will be explored. Finally possible ways of working in partnership and empowering these service users will be discussed.

Discrimination and empowerment in mental health social work essay

Consequently, placement forms an integral part of the journey of Social Work Education. My third and final placement has been within the Social work team on Thames ward, River House, Bethlem Royal Hospital which is a Medium Secure Psychiatric facility providing treatment and rehabilitation for 15 male, mentally disordered offenders with a diagnosis of mental illness and or personality disorders.

Discrimination and empowerment in mental health social work essay

Through this critical reflection on my placement I will be looking at my learning in areas such as law and policy, risk, linking theory to practice, communication and multi-professional working which have all formed an integral part of my placement.

Moreover, I will also be exploring my learning and personal development in areas such as anti-discriminatory practice, reflective practice and the role of supervision in my development throughout placement. Having successfully completed all of my academic modules as well as two practice placements I felt somewhat better prepared for this placement than I did with my first.

I felt that I had grown as a professional and now possessed proven practical skills. Moreover, I felt more confident in my ability to work with service users; linking social work theories and values to my practice. However, having no experience of working with this service user group I felt slightly anxious about my placement, especially as it was within a Secure Unit and that I would be working with purely male service users.

This was not helped by my first visit to River House, the high perimeter fences and strict security procedures led to me feeling that I was entering a prison as opposed to a hospital environment.

Upon reflection I felt that my anxiety was largely due to my negative preconceptions about mental illness especially my belief that mentally ill people are violent, unpredictable, and dangerous. These views were not only a result of a lack of knowledge about mental illness and personality disorders but also about the influence of negative media and cultural stereotypes that I had grown up with.

I realised that these views were something that I would need to continually be aware of throughout this placement so as to work in an anti discriminatory manner Unit According to Thompson good practice is anti-discriminatory; therefore, being aware of avoiding assumptions which are discriminatory or oppressive can contribute positively to empowerment of service users.

Mullen highlights that forensic mental health involves the assessment and treatment of those who are both mentally disordered and whose behaviour has led, or could lead, to offending p Additionally, McInerny highlights that although secure hospitals are not prisons it is important that the relationship between security and therapy is properly managed.

Through working as part of the clinical team I came to understand that the role of the unit is the treatment and rehabilitation of the patients with a large focus on risk management and care planning.

I benefited from a teaching session with the Clinical psychiatrist who clarified that mental illness does not cause patients to commit crimes rather, the propensity to commit a criminal offence is demographically determined. Additionally, I learnt that certain mental illnesses gave patients the propensity to commit particular crimes for example that there is a link between personality disorders and antisocial behaviours.

Discrimination and empowerment Although patients were transferred on and off the ward throughout my placement I noted that there were disproportionate amount of black African and Caribbean men on the ward. As the placement progressed I noted that that throughout River house black and ethnic minority men formed a large proportion of the patients.

A number of studies including one by Harrison have found that in comparison African-Caribbean men are more likely to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals, diagnosed with schizophrenia and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.


According to Harrison negative attitudes towards mental distress can be compounded by other forms of discrimination such as race for example the belief that black men are more likely to be violent than their white counterparts. The majority of staff on the ward including myself and my practice teacher were from black and ethnic minority groups and I initially wondered whether the patients took this as a positive and empowering factor in that they could identify with the nurses and social worker.

However as the placement developed it emerged that all professionals on the ward worked in unison and that decisions were always made by the multi professional team as a whole Unit I felt that this projected a message to the patients that none of the professional worked in isolation; as such they could attribute respect to us all as part of their care team.

Consequently I felt that this helped to empower the patients to a degree Unit 5, Unit 7. Chinman et al contends participation treatment planning can also be empowering, in addition, that people with severe mental illness being able to actively participate in designing their own treatment plans could lead to an improved self-image and a greater likelihood that they will reach their treatment goals.

However, authors such as Rosenfeld and Turkheimer and Linhorst et al argue, the severity of mental illness can be the main barrier to empowerment as some patients may lack the full capacity to process information, weigh choices and make informed decisions about their treatment.

Furthermore, there is a danger that some patients especially those who have been in-patients for extended periods of time, may have become institutionalised or dependant on mental health services and as such do not ever have a fully desire to engage in and progress through patient recovery pathways.

According to Golightley social workers need to work in unison with medical and other health professionals whilst remaining at the forefront of processes that include and empower services users. As a result I found that it was important to develop as good of a relationship as I could with each of the patients I worked with Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 5.

That is because patients engagement in such activities directly correlated with the amount of progress they made towards discharge.

Empowering People with Mental Illness within Health Services | Insight Medical Publishing

Authors such as Lowry argue that within forensic mental health settings, patients are contained in an environment which automatically restricts choice, and autonomy. This includes ensuring I incorporated their views in my assessments and allowed them to read my assessments and raise any concerns that they had before the final drafts were submitted Unit 3, Unit 11, Unit 14, Unit Moreover I ensured I gained their consent to gather information about them from their family or other services.

Additionally, I did some specific work supporting a patient to re-establish contact with his sister where he had previously no contact with any family members. I also supported another patient to make an informed decision about his relinquishing the tenancy of his flat. Although these patients have no choice about being in hospital I found that being able to make such decisions and take corresponding actions was very empowering for them.

Linking theory to practice Being in a hospital environment there was undoubted a large emphasis on the medical model in which mental health is looked at in relation to illness and illness management.

Although at the beginning I held some of these views, working closer with the patients on my ward, as well as spending time in community hostels and community mental health teams, I came to see how difficult it is for our patients to reintegrate back into society and the anxiety that this caused them prior to discharge Unit This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay In academia evidence of this movement can be found in the number of recent publications about sanism and social work due to coming into contact with mental health services, people may become subject to the oppression of mentalism, since society (and mental health.

Discrimination and empowerment in mental health In the essay I will be exploring elements of discrimination and empowerment. I will be starting by unraveling what is meant by discrimination and the effects it has on the individual or group, their culture, society and the possible structural implications.

Discrimination And Empowerment In Mental Health Social Work Essay.

Placement Three - Critical reflection – The WritePass Journal : The WritePass Journal

The essay will then focus in on mental health. This part of the essay will firstly look at what a mental health problem is and explore the stigma of being labelled with a mental health problem.

This part of the essay will critically explore the concept of power and. The Discrimination And Empowerment In Mental Health Social Work Essay This essay will firstly define what discrimination is and what it means to discriminate against something. It will then explain what it means to discriminate against someone or a group in social work practice.

Empowering People with Mental Illness within Health Services, Neeru Aggarwal Acta Psychopathologica [email Empowering People with Mental Illness within Health Services. Neeru Aggarwal * Stigma and discrimination of mental health problems: workplace implications. Occupational Medicine Free coursework on Discrimination from leslutinsduphoenix.com, the UK essays company for essay, dissertation and coursework writing.

health, income, ethnicity, sexuality and gender. To take need into account is essential. The aim of social work intervention is empowerment, not adjustment. (Thompson, ).

Mentalism (discrimination) - Wikipedia