Families and Mental Illness: Contested Perspectives and Implications for Practice and Policy

Bland, Robert and Foster, Michele (2012) Families and Mental Illness: Contested Perspectives and Implications for Practice and Policy. Australian Social Work, 65 4: 517-534. doi:10.1080/0312407X.2011.646281

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Author Bland, Robert
Foster, Michele
Title Families and Mental Illness: Contested Perspectives and Implications for Practice and Policy
Journal name Australian Social Work   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0312-407X
Publication date 2012-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/0312407X.2011.646281
Open Access Status
Volume 65
Issue 4
Start page 517
End page 534
Total pages 18
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Mental health research, policy, and service provision over the last 50 years have constructed families and their connections with mental illness in various and contradictory ways. Three distinct but intersecting perspectives derive from the clinical mental illness literature, the family advocacy movement, and mental health policy. Within the clinical literature, the perspective of families is largely one of blame and pathology. By contrast, the family advocacy movement has generated the perspective of the burdened family, whereas mental health policy has created the perspective of the obligated caregiver. The result is an ambiguous understanding of the role of the family in both contributing and responding to mental illness. Implications for policy and practice include the need for a commitment to the principles of partnership with families, a recognition of diversity within families, recognising the difference between carer and family positions, and a need for policy to reflect the position of family as both intimately concerned, but not necessarily responsible, for patient care.
Keyword Family Interventions
Mental Health
Social Work Practice
Social Policy
Expressed Emotion
Informal Care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 00:02:47 EST by System User on behalf of School of Social Work and Human Services