Enhancing learning and teaching about mental health across the disciplines
Social workers play a vital role in preventing mental health crises and should be given more scope to practice their skills, an inquiry into mental health services in England has found.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Work (APPG) has taken evidence over a four month period from people using mental health services, families, other professionals, researchers, government officials and politicians. Social workers protect people’s rights in situations of crisis or where a situation has deteriorated. However, the inquiry found that outside of AMHP (Approved Mental Health Professional) or BIA (Best Interest Assessor) roles, social workers are often required to act in more limited ways and are unable to use all the professional skills they are trained to use.
The inquiry report recommends maximising social workers’ skills and working with people who need services and their families in order to prevent people’s mental health from deteriorating to the point of crisis and to help people to make lasting change. The concept of ‘co-production’, where services are mutually developed and delivered by professionals, people using services and their families, was also found to be of paramount importance.
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