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The Risks of Care and Caring about Risk in Mental Health


Sawyer, A and Stanford, S, The Risks of Care and Caring about Risk in Mental Health, Critical Ethics of Care in Social Work: Transforming the Politics and Practices of Caring, Routledge, B Pease, A Vreugdenhil and S Stanford (ed), New York, pp. 63-73. ISBN 9781138225589 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2018 The Authors

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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 Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:mental health, risks, ethics, personalisation, care
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Social work
Research Field:Counselling, wellbeing and community services
Objective Division:Indigenous
Objective Group:Pacific Peoples community services
Objective Field:Pacific Peoples community services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Sawyer, A (Dr Anne-Maree Sawyer)
UTAS Author:Stanford, S (Associate Professor Sonya Stanford)
ID Code:118108
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-07-04
Last Modified:2018-11-30
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