1 Social work for better mental health A strategic statement January 2016. Social work for better mental health A strategic statement Dr Ruth Allen Dr Sarah Carr Dr Karen Linde with Hari Sewell With thanks for their contributions to: Dorothy Gould, Service user Consultant. Jack Nicholas, Robert Punton and Clenton Farquharson, Community Navigator Services User-led Training and Development Organisation. You may re-use the text of this document (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit Crown copyright Published to , in PDF format Contents Foreword by Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults 3. Chapter 1: Social work for better mental health . A strategic statement 5. Chapter 2: Introduction 7. Chapter 3: The state of mental health 9. Chapter 4: Statutory Social work 11. Chapter 5: Inclusion, rights and citizenship 13. Chapter 6: Complexity and risk 15.
2 Chapter 7: The vital role of Approved mental health Professionals 17. Chapter 8: Prevention and wellbeing across communities 19. Chapter 9: Getting the organisational context right for Social work and getting Social work right for the future 21. Foreword by Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults 3. Foreword by Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults I am delighted to introduce these three new health problems arising in the first place and resources to launch the initiative Social ensuring people can get help when they are Work for better mental health '. The three in crisis are some of the key areas for national documents are The strategic statement policy and funding. There have been some which provides a narrative about the strategic important recent developments, such as the place and importance of Social work in mental success of the national Crisis Care Concordat health now; How are we doing? which and a new strategic focus on mental health is an organisational and Social work self- within NHS England developed by the mental assessment and improvement tool tailored health Taskforce.
3 For the mental health context; and Making the Social workers are the core of the Approved Difference Together' which provides guidance mental health Professionals (AMHP) workforce. on gaining and using service user, carer and In this role, Social workers take crucial, urgent family feedback on mental health Social work decisions about the least restrictive and most practice. Together, these provide improvement suitable context in which people should receive tools and methodologies to help develop and care and treatment, playing a vital, statutory sustain great Social work across the mental role in protecting people's human rights and health sector and help ensure the value of promoting the principles of the mental health Social work in improving mental wellbeing in Act Code of Practice (2015). society is recognised. However, the vital role of Social work, These three documents build on the 2014 Social care and local government can still publication The Role of the Social Worker sometimes be overlooked.
4 Every day across in Adult mental health ' which aimed to England, thousands of Social workers use create a sector-wide consensus about the their specific skills and knowledge to support knowledge and skills that Social workers bring people with mental health problems. Within to the mental health sector. The three new local government, the NHS, charities, Social resources provide further implementation enterprises, not-for-profit and private care support to organisations, Social work organisations, Social workers provide a leaders and practitioners wanting to make distinctive contribution to mental health that improvements and clarify the aims and focuses on the Social determinants and outcomes wanted from Social work. They Social solutions to mental health problems also, crucially, promote a vision of Social work and distress. Working with the principles of that routinely draws of direct feedback from personalisation and the opportunities of the people who use services and their families to Care Act 2014, Social workers are crucial to improve and develop practice.
5 Ensuring people with mental health needs mental health is a key issue of our time. are seen first and foremost as citizens with Reducing the stigma that can compound equal rights, rather than exclusively through a distress, doing more to prevent mental diagnostic or clinical lens. Chapter 1: Social work for better mental health A strategic statement 5. Chapter 1: Social work for better mental health A strategic statement Key messages More innovation in effective Social models in mental health tackling the Social Social workers use advanced determinants of health and wellbeing relationship-based skills warmth, and addressing the Social trauma that empathy and genuineness to help underlies a lot of mental health need are people define and reach their own goals. needed to create sustainable, relevant This is what is so often valued by people and affordable mental health services in using services and their families. the future. They have particular key skills in tackling Social work is at the heart of Social and the stigma, discrimination and exclusion community innovations in mental health .
6 People with mental health problems often face. Their legal and statutory knowledge of enablement, care and support systems makes Social workers systems leaders for multiagency practice. Social workers have a particularly key role across agencies in protecting people from harm. Social workers work holistically, with the person and their Social network, helping to strengthen and build sustainable family and Social capital. Defining the roles of Social workers and raising their confidence as a workforce will contribute to better practice and better mental health outcomes. Chapter 2: Introduction 7. Chapter 2: Introduction With the support of the Chief Social The project to define Social work's Worker for Adults (CSWA) The College of role in mental health is underpinned by a Social Work published its paper on the The commitment to promote wellbeing, improve role of the Social work in adult mental health ' the quality of services and promote the rights in 2014, making the case for Social work to be of people with mental health needs.
7 The five defined in relation to five role categories: role categories are referenced throughout A. Enabling citizens to access the statutory this strategic statement to illustrate how Social care and Social work services they can address strategic challenges and and advice to which they are entitled, opportunities. discharging the legal duties and promoting the personalised Social care ethos of the local authority. B. Promoting recovery and Social inclusion with individuals and families. C. Intervening and showing professional leadership and skill in situations characterised by high levels of Social , family and interpersonal complexity, risk and ambiguity. D. Working co-productively and innovatively with local communities to support community capacity, personal and family resilience, earlier intervention and active citizenship. E. Leading the Approved mental health Professional Workforce. Chapter 3: The state of mental health 9. Chapter 3: The state of mental health mental health issues are still using services, families and communities tell marginalised and stigmatised in service us they value, as well as being flexible to the systems and in wider society.
8 mental health demands of organisational change. services remain under-resourced compared The Care Act 2014, the NHS England to others area of health and care, despite Five Year Forward View, and now the the 20121 legislation on parity of esteem with NHS England mental health Task force physical health . Citizens with serious mental all emphasise the need for change in the health needs are still much more likely to capabilities and attitudes of professionals have poorer physical health , live in poverty to deliver services fit for the future. The and in poor housing, have to wait or travel personalisation and recovery ethos far to access a bed when in acute need, be promoted by all recent mental health policy unemployed or socially isolated and to die requires staff to show positive and hope- earlier. inspiring attitudes and qualities based on There is much to do, and reducing good communication and relationship resources with which to do it.
9 The whole of skills. Professionals need to be able to the health and care workforce needs to play communicate in ways that are culturally its part in making the changes needed. competent and to understand the particular In this context, being clear about the stressors and inequalities that affect different value and focus of each part of the workforce people. They need to be able to work with is especially important. We need to ensure people's motivations and wishes whilst we do not waste the skills and knowledge of exercising public duties to manage risk, professionally trained and committed staff allocate resources appropriately and support within blurred or disempowered roles or people to understand what the evidence in failing to develop their career potential. All suggests might be helpful to them. organisations need to make the most of the These complex, interpersonal skills resources available to meet growing citizen and capabilities are at the heart of modern demand and expectations.
10 This means Social work. Empowered and empowering, developing staff who can help unleash the relationship-based, systemically-informed, assets of others (partners, service users, reflective and focused on helping people carers, communities), as well as use their own meet their own goals Social work is a expensive professional skills and knowledge necessary profession in mental health wisely and highly competently. To achieve because of this distinctive constellation of this, professional staff need to keep learning approaches. and developing in response to what people Out of a strong profession of Social work in mental health comes the potential for 1. health and Social Care Act 2012. greater innovation in Social and psychosocial 10 Social work for better mental health A strategic statement interventions. In the future Social workers should be better supported to deliver their current responsibilities and commitments, but also encouraged to lead on new Social models of support, particularly where these are co-produced and co-evaluated with people using services and other stakeholders.