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The Historical Context of the Risk Paradigm in Mental Health Policy and Practice: How Did we Get Here?


Warner, J and Rovinelli Heller, N and Sharland, E and Stanford, S, The Historical Context of the Risk Paradigm in Mental Health Policy and Practice: How Did we Get Here?, Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Mental Health Policy and Practice, Palgrave, S Stanford, N Rovinelli Heller, E Sharland & J Warner (ed), Basingstoke, UK ISBN 9781137441355 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

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This first chapter of the book defines the nature and character of the risk paradigm and gives an account of how it has come to dominate policy and practice in mental health across the USA, Australasia and Europe. The chapter draws on literature dating back to the 1990s in order to critically analyse the shift away from concepts such as dangerousness and need that have previously been dominant in mental health policy and practice. It will highlight ways in which the narrow refocusing on specific kinds of risk, particularly violence to others, has served to exacerbate stigmatizing experiences for mental health service users/consumers. At the same time, this refocusing has silenced narratives concerning the vast array of risks that many people experience on a daily basis. The chapter will explore policies of ‘deinstitutionalisation’ and their impact, and it will analyse how the idea of risk has travelled and changed through time, particularly in the past 40 years. It will briefly explore risk across national boundaries, and also across the different constituencies of practice, service user experiences, public perceptions, media and the political domain. The main aim of the chapter is to provide a reference point for succeeding chapters, to show how moving ‘beyond the risk paradigm’ can be understood.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Risk, mental health, deinstitutionalisation, policy, practice, neoliberalism
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Social Work
Research Field:Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Mental Health Services
Author:Stanford, S (Dr Sonya Stanford)
ID Code:112412
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-11-09
Last Modified:2017-07-17

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