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SOCW 6351: Social Policy, Welfare, and Change Week 6

Discussion 1: Mental Health Care/Managed Care

Mental health care is a primary concern to social workers, who are the main providers of care to populations with mental health diagnoses. The system that provides services to individuals with mental health issues is often criticized for being reactive and only responding when individuals are in crisis. Crisis response is not designed to provide on-going care and is frequently very expensive, especially if hospitalization is involved. 

Critics suggest a comprehensive plan, which involves preventive services, as well as a continuum of care. However, there are few, if any, effective and efficient program models. Social work expertise and input are vital to implementing effective services. Targeting services to individuals with a diagnosis of mental illness is one strategy. Another approach includes providing an array of services that are also preventative in nature. How might these suggestions address potential policy gaps in caring for individuals such as the family members in the Parker Family case?

For this Discussion, review this week’s resources, including the Parker Family video. Then consider the specific challenges or gaps in caring for individuals with a chronic mental illness might present for the mental health system based on the Parker case. Finally, think about how environmental stressors, such as poverty, can aggravate mental illness and make treatment more challenging.

Post by 10/05/21 an explanation of the specific challenges or gaps in the mental health care system for the care of individuals with chronic mental illnesses. Base your response on the Parker case. Then, describe how environmental stressors, such as poverty, can aggravate mental illness and make treatment more challenging.

Support your post with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

         

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Discussion 2: Emerging Issues in Mental Health Care

Like so many areas of practice in social work, mental health is dynamic and ever-evolving. Research continues to provide new information about how the brain functions, the role of genetics in mental health, and evidence to support new possibilities for treatment. Keeping up with these developments might seem impossible. However, being aware of and responsive to these developments and incorporating them into both your practice and social policy is essential to changing the lives of individuals and families who live with a mental health diagnosis and the impact it brings to their daily lives.

For this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Search the Walden Library and other reputable online sources for emerging issues in the mental health care arena. Think about the issues that are being addressed by social policy and those that are in need of policy advocacy and why that might be the case. Then, consider what social workers can do to ensure that clients/populations receive necessary mental health services. Also, think about the ethical responsibility related to mental health care social workers must uphold in host settings when they encounter conflicts in administration and home values. Finally, search your state government sites for the mental health commitment standards in your state and reflect on the mental health services covered under your state’s Medicaid program.

By 10/05/2021 , post an explanation of those emerging issues in the mental health care arena that the policymakers address and those that are in need of policy advocacy and why. Then, explain what strategies social workers might use to ensure that clients/populations receive necessary mental health services. Finally, explain the mental health commitment standards and mental health services in your state (Florida). In your explanation, refer to the services covered under your state’s Medicaid program.

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Learning Resources

Required Readings

Popple, P. R., & Leighninger, L. (2019). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

· Chapter 8, “Mental Health and Substance Abuse (pp. 161-191)

Conclusion for Chapter 8, “Mental Health and Substance Abuse (pp. 161-191)

Mental illness and substance abuse have been individual and social problems since the founding of the country. And debates over the degree of individual and social responsibility for them have continued for at least that long. The policy pendulum has swung back and forth as we weigh individual freedom versus collective obligation. The issues are complex, and morality as well as practicality are involved. Of the many substances that are abused, some are legal and some or not. Should we decriminalize some and/or make others harder to obtain? Should everyone be subjected to drug tests? Should people with a mental illness who might harm others be denied privacy and confidentiality? Should parents be allowed to refuse to vaccinate their children if this results in the deaths of others? Are our communities safer with more guns or fewer guns? Should cyberspace be more carefully regulated? How do we reintegrate our veterans into peacetime society? What roles can social workers play in all this?

The use and abuse of illegal substances are not just problems for specific groups in American society, as we used to think. We find these problems in all socioeconomic, racial, and religious groups. Different drugs are adopted and discarded by various groups at various times, in various places. The extent to which use is considered a problem and the extent to which abuse is prosecuted seems to depend a lot on who the users are. And in the pharmacological revolution, this issue can only get more complicated.

World Health Organization. (2004). Mental health policy and service guidance package: Mental health policy, plans and programmes. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mental_health/policy/en/policy_plans_revision.pdf

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore: MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

· Part 1, “The Parker Family” (pp. 6–8)

Mental Health America. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://mhanational.org/

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Sessions: Parker family (Episode 5 of 42) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Responsiveness to Directions

27 (27%) – 30 (30%)

Discussion posting fully addresses all instruction prompts, including responding to the required number of peer posts.

Discussion Posting Content

27 (27%) – 30 (30%)

Discussion posting demonstrates an excellent understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the text(s) and Learning Resources. Posting provides significant detail including multiple relevant examples, evidence from the readings and other scholarly sources, and discerning ideas.

Peer Feedback and Interaction

22.5 (22.5%) – 25 (25%)

The feedback postings and responses to questions are excellent and fully contribute to the quality of interaction by offering constructive critique, suggestions, in-depth questions, additional resources, and stimulating thoughts and/or probes.

Writing.

13.5 (13.5%) – 15 (15%)

Postings are well organized, use scholarly tone, contain original writing and proper paraphrasing, follow APA style, contain very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and are fully consistent with graduate level writing style.