New book on Mental Health and Social Work Practice by Jim Campbell and Gavin Davidson

2 Apr

Jim Campbell, Professor of Social Work at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Gavin Davidson, Lecturer in Social Work, in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast have written a new book called Post-Qualifying Mental Health Social Work Practice.  The preface provides the rationale and context for exploring this complex area of practice:

“This is a specialist text for post-qualified social workers, and other mental health professionals who are interested in exploring the complexities of practice using a broad range of explanatory theories and evidence-based approaches. In writing this book we were mindful of the debates about the current mental health social work role (Ramon, 2009; Campbell, 2010) and how it might be changing because of the advent of the generic Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) in England and Wales, as well as the potential dilution of professional identity caused by the integration of social work practitioners in multidisciplinary teams.

The book presents a forceful argument for a strong, recognizable identity for mental social workers built upon a solid knowledge base and broad-based application of skills that complement the work of other professionals in this field. We argue that, in the midst of the inevitable changes to role and function created by shifts in law policy and organization, a discernible position can be identified and maintained for social workers in mental services. For these reasons we believe the text will be of particular interest to mental health social workers practicing and studying mental health social work at various levels with systems of post-qualifying education and training across the UK.

The text begins with summaries of four ‘core knowledge’ areas which inform the rest of the book – an Introduction to the various forms of educational and post-qualifying training in the UK followed by three chapters on Policy and Agency Contexts, Legal Contexts and Models of Mental Health and Illness. These provide essential, background contextual knowledge that then underpins the other chapters in the book. The following chapters, which focus on the application of theory to practice, are preceded by references to National Occupational Standards, learning outcomes and case study material. Throughout the book you are encouraged to reflect upon your learning through selected questions, exercises and further reading. We hope you will find the book particularly interesting through its use of diverse case material illustrating the many types of mental health problems that individuals and families experience, and how this experience is shaped by issues of age, class, gender, ethnicity and religion”.

Post-Qualifying Mental Health Social Work Practice is published by Sage.

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