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Why is mental health a contemporary social work issue?

So I've just started Uni studying Social Work.. and this is my first essay! I'm finding it pretty difficult, considering we get zilch help. In general, I'm good at essays, but this is swaying my judgement as I'm so confused. Basically, I want to add about four sub-topics as to why mental health is a modern issue, and to construct an argument about how it become so.I've brainstormed many ideas as to mental health is a contemporary issue but I want to concentrate on about four main issues relating from the perspective of social work. I was going to focus mainly on 'modern day family' issues (internet, media etc), stigma of mental health disorders, the issues surrounding Freud such as child development, modern medication such as therapies & brain scanning, whether the MH system should or should not be involved with the 'public' monies, including federal and state monies. I then would explain how and why the MH system does need changing.I'd just like some people's opinions and input about what would be best to discuss (does the above sound ok?).. Please help, many thanks!

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2 Responses so far.

  1. reaminess says:

    You’re studying social work. So when do people wind up seeing a Social Worker? When their lives are doing fine, adequate income, close family ties, good ties to the community? Pfft! if we were all like that, there would be no need for Social Workers or Psychologists.However, in the real world, there are stressors. There are families who have autistic or other developmentally disabled children. Having a severely disabled child is like having a fresh death in the family every waking moment. The hopes and dreams you had for the child are dead, and you now have the worry of what will happen to the child when you die. Your everyday life is disrupted, especially if you have a severely autistic but otherwise physically healthy growing child who cannot comprehend toilet training, throws things, will not sleep, communicate anything other than hunger or thirst, injures self or others. The entire life of the family revolves around the child. No peaceful vacations, rarely going to restaurants. Forget going to visit anyone. Forget having pets. Forget having nice, especially breakable, things. if your child acts up in school, you may have to leave work to pick him/her up. How long will a job tolerate absences? Plus, developmentally disabled children are expensive. How do people handle this stress? This is a mental health issue. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse to handle the stress of the situation?ADD/ADHD is something which has finally been recognized. Treatment generally has been focused on children, but there are many adults who have grown up with untreated ADD/ADHD. Generally they have uneven employment histories, problems with forming long-term friendships, marital difficulties, economic problems. As a Social Worker, you would likely wind up with ADD/ADHD clients.Then again, clients may include those with a history of substance abuse. However, there are so many variations under this heading. There are those with undiagnosed or untreated mental illness, such as bipolar, depression, borderlne personality disorder, schizophrenia, and more. Often they self-medicate to ease the symptoms. I’ve heard schizophrenics say that “drinking makes the voices quiet”. They can become physically addicted to the substances. Then again, there are people who started out mentally healthy, but through substance abuse, have developed symptoms of mental illness. As I mentioned earlier, there are people who develop a substance dependency due to stressors, like having a developmentally disabled child, a death of a loved one, a medical diagnosis, physical, sexual or mental abuse. As you should expect, being able to discern the differences, and treatments for these diverse groups are important. One issue which is especially important is post-partum depression. There are women who (after the fact) seemed to display symptoms of post-partum depression after giving birth, became pregnant, gave birth, magnifying the depression, who later went on to kill their children. Other cases have resulted in children dying from neglect, with the mother not even caring for herself, or self-medicating. It is up to the Social Worker to evaluate whether the neglectful parenting is the result of a mental illness. Post-partum depression is easily treated, but you must know what you are looking for. Permanently removing the neglected child/children and incarcerating the mother is no long term solution.You can’t solve the external problems, such as housing, deciding whether to recommend whether children need to be placed in foster care for their own safety or whether the family can be kept together, without being able to ascertain whether there are untreated, undiagnosed or neglected mental health issues involved. This should help your paper. Good luck in your career. Social Workers should be paid a heck of a lot more than they get.

  2. beastie says:

    When you are confronted with a problem, reduce it to its simplest form. Don’t lose sight of the basic issues. Get organized. You need to get past confusion.Get a big piece of butcher paper and tack it on the wall so you can sit back and look at it. Draw a tree trunk, When you draw a limb in the sky, draw the line down through the trunk of the tree into the root area and add corresponding branches. Look at the top and bottom of the tree. Is it balanced? It should be. This shows that you have a balanced view on the issues. The tree (in the sky) is your essay. The roots of the tree are for confusing details, your bibliography or technical notes. Be sure your tree has all the limbs and branches necessary to adequately cover your essay subject. Look at what you are trying to say from the perspective of the person who will be reading it. When you carry on to much, you are apt to reveal your flaws. You don’t want your instructor to catch you out on a limb and saw it off. If you don’t identify all limbs and branches on the way up, your instructor will be sure you hit the ones you missed on the way down. Too many words will tend to bore the reader to death. Say only enough to get the point across, nothing more. Remember K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. I hope this helped. If nothing else, it should give you a good laugh.Good luck.