2nd Edition

Social Work Practice in Mental Health An introduction

By Robert Bland, Ann Tullgren Copyright 2015
    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    'An invaluable resource for social workers in all practice settings, not just mental health, and a core text for social work students.' - Dr Valerie Gerrand, former AASW representative and board member of the Mental Health Council of Australia

    'An outstanding and very original contribution to the scholarship on mental health policy, research and service.' - Associate Professor Maria Harries AM, University of Western Australia

    Developing the skills to work effectively with people who have mental health problems is fundamental to contemporary social work practice. Practitioners face new challenges in a rapidly changing work environment including working with consumers and their families and in multidisciplinary teams. Now, more than ever, social workers need discipline-specific mental health knowledge and training.

    This second edition of Social Work Practice in Mental Health continues the guiding principles of the first edition - an emphasis on the centrality of the lived experience of mental illness and the importance of embracing both scientific and relational dimensions of practice. The new edition reflects the latest developments in best practice including the emergence of recovery theory and the importance of evidence-based approaches.

    This is a comprehensive guide to social work practice in specialist mental health settings as well as in other fields of practice, covering the most commonly encountered mental health problems. It features information on assessment, case management, family work and community work, and reveals how the core concerns of social work - human rights, self-determination and relationships with family and the wider community - are also central to mental health practice.

    List of tables



    1. A starting point: Understanding social work in mental health

    2. The lived experience of mental illness

    3. Concepts and issues in mental health

    4. The policy and legal context for practice

    5. Overview of mental disorders


    6. Assessment for social work practice

    7. Social casework in mental health settings

    8. Working with people with mental illness across service systems

    9. Working with families

    10. Working with communities

    11. Sustaining social work in mental health agencies





    Robert Bland is a social work academic, researcher and practitioner. He is Honorary Professor of Social Work at the University of Queensland.

    Noel Renouf worked for over thirty years as a mental health social worker. He is Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Queensland.

    Ann Tullgren is a former teacher and social worker with a lived experience of mental illness.