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The Risks of Care and Caring about Risk in Mental Health

Sawyer, A and Stanford, S ORCID: 0000-0001-5362-9951 2018 , 'The Risks of Care and Caring about Risk in Mental Health', in B Pease and A Vreugdenhil and S Stanford (eds.), Critical Ethics of Care in Social Work: Transforming the Politics and Practices of Caring , Routledge.

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Driven by contemporary public policy, the individualisation of care forms an integral part of the institutional apparatus that manages and contains risky welfare others who are framed as ‘damaged’, ‘deficient’ or ‘dangerous’. In this chapter, we examine the social misery that is generated and often disguised by risk-thinking in the provision of person-centred mental health care. We do this by presenting examples from our research with people recovering from mental health problems who experienced significant challenges in navigating the interface between their own sense of self-care and community services’ management of risks and care. We draw attention to the subjective experience of abjection that derives from risk-dominated practices: experiences of living with loss, humiliation and heightened anxiety. Significantly, we demonstrate that the lived reality of suffering, engendered by risk-focused responses and procedures, both creates and compounds the pain of inequality and injustice. This understanding provides us with an opportunity to consider changes to organisational and practice strategies of care that could address the wounded ‘self’ of people experiencing mental health problems.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Sawyer, A and Stanford, S
Keywords: mental health, risks, ethics, personalisation, care
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 The Authors

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