Mental Health and Social Problems
A Social Work Perspective
Edited by Nina Rovinelli Heller, Alex Gitterman
Routledge – 2011 – 518 pages
Mental Health and Social Problems is a textbook for social work students and practitioners. It explores the complicated relationship between mental conditions and societal issues as well as examining risk and protective factors for the prevalence, course, adaptation to and recovery from mental illness.
The introductory chapter presents bio-psycho-social and life-modeled approaches to helping individuals and families with mental illness. The book is divided into two parts. Part I addresses specific social problems, such as poverty, oppression, racism, war, violence, and homelessness, identifying the factors which contribute to vulnerabilities and risks for the development of mental health problems, including the barriers to accessing quality services. Part II presents the most current empirical findings and practice knowledge about prevalence, diagnosis, assessment, and intervention options for a range of common mental health problems – including personality conditions, eating conditions and affective conditions.
Focusing throughout upon mental health issues for children, adolescents, adults and older adults, each chapter includes case studies and web resources. This practical book is ideal for social work students who specialize in mental health.
‘What is most impressive is the breadth of topic and the attention to the literature base, supported by reference to web-based sources. For these reasons, it should, as the editors indicate in the introduction, become a core text for a variety of readers, qualifying students taking specialist mental health modules, mental health social workers and policy makers. I feel that the book will also be accessible to other professionals in the field.’ – British Journal of Social Work
‘The editors have done something important for social work by offering a volume—one they hope is both textbook and reference book—that rejects the bifurcation of dialogue around the mental health struggles our clients face and the most recalcitrant social problems that serve as the backdrop and context to their lives and ours’ – Journal of Teaching in Social Work
‘This book would be an excellent text for social work graduate students, as well as students from other disciplines, as it balances out the medical model to which many students are exposed in their internships and society as a whole…[it] is a strong example of how the perspective of social work is critical in expanding the frame of assessment and treatment in mental health and clinical practice to include the social and contextual issues that are inextricable from the struggles that our clients face.’ – Clinical Social Work Journal
1. Introduction to Social Problems and Mental Health/Illness, Nina Rovinelli Heller and Alex Gitterman Part I Social Problems and Mental Health/Illness 2. Oppression and Stigma and their Effects, Amy C. Watson and Shaun M. Eack 3. Poverty and its Effects, Mark R. Rank 4. Racism and its Effects, Dennis Miehls 5. War and its Effects, Scott Harding 6. Homelessness and its Effects, Judith Bula Wise 7. Corrections and its Effects, Rudolph Alexander, Jr. 8. Immigration and its Effects, Gregory Acevedo and Manny J. Gonzales 9. Child Maltreatment and its Effects, Carolyn Knight 10. Intimate Partner Violence and its Effects, Bonnie E. Carlson 11. Community Violence and its Effects, Vanessa Vorhies, Neil B. Guterman and Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia Part II Mental Health Conditions 12. Autism Spectrum Conditions, Joseph Walsh and Jacqueline Corcoran 13. Executive Function Disorders and Self Deficits, Joseph Palombo 14. Oppositional Defiant and Conduct Conditions, David W. Springer and Amanda N. Barczyk 15. Mood Conditions, Ellen Smith 16. Anxiety Conditions, Nina Rovinelli Heller and Lisa Werkmeister Rozas 17. Eating Disorder Conditions, Danna Bodenheimer and Nina Rovinelli Heller 18. Personality Conditions, Terry B. Northcut 19. Psychotic Conditions, Ellen P. Lukens and Lydia P. Ogden 20. Substance Abuse, Meredith Hanson 21. Dementia and Related Problems in Cognition and Memory, Sara Sanders and Joelle K. Osterhaus
Nina Rovinelli Heller teaches in the masters and doctoral programs, and is the Chair of the Mental Health Substantive Area at the University of Connecticut, USA. She has provided mental health services to individuals and families for thirty years in a range of practice settings. She is the co-editor of Integrating Psychodynamic Theory with Cognitive Behavioral Techniques and has published in the area of social work theory and clinical practice.
Alex Gitterman is Zachs Professor of Social Work and Director of the Doctoral Program at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. He has co-authored and co-edited a large number of books including The Life Model of Social Work Practice, Encyclopedia of Social Work with Groups and The Handbook of Social Work Practice with Vulnerable and Resilient Populations. He served as the President and on the board of the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups, an international professional organization.