Advancing occupational therapy in mental health practice by McKay, Elizabeth Anne

By McKay, Elizabeth Anne

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Vocational Services for People with Severe Mental Health Problems: Commissioning Guidance: London: Department of Health. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004) Mental Health and Social Exclusion: Social Exclusion Unit Report. London: HMSO. Ormston C (1999) The National Service Framework for mental health: worth waiting for? Occupational Therapy News, 7(12), 10–12. Ormston C (2006) The underlying value base for occupational therapy practice – a constant in a changing environment. Mental Health Occupational Therapy, 11(3), 102–103.

UK mental health ethnicity statistics Wilson and Francis (1997) noted that African, African-Caribbean and Irish people were over-represented in psychiatric hospitals and Irish people were overrepresented in alcohol services in the UK. Browne (1997) further found that African and African-Caribbean people were more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (SCMH) (2000) and a systematic review by Bhui et al. (2003) noted that the lack of cultural sensitivity and appropriateness of existing assessments may contribute to misdiagnosis and disparities in treatment options available to BME service users.

1998a; COT, 2006a) There are developing influences within the UK that the profession needs to address and shape. These influences are not mutually exclusive but are interwoven: the political and policy landscape, mental health and social inclusion, workforce modernisation and new and extended roles and new ways of working. In discussing these influences, examples of occupational therapy involvement will be highlighted; although centred on the UK developments, they have international resonance.

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