Families and mental illness: Contested perspectives and implications for practice and policy

Journal article


Bland, Robert James and Foster, Michele. (2012). Families and mental illness: Contested perspectives and implications for practice and policy. Australian Social Work. 65(4), pp. 517 - 534. https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2011.646281
AuthorsBland, Robert James and Foster, Michele
Abstract

Abstract Mental health research, policy, and service provision over the last 50 years have constructed families and their connections with mental illness in various and contradictory ways. Three distinct but intersecting perspectives derive from the clinical mental illness literature, the family advocacy movement, and mental health policy. Within the clinical literature, the perspective of families is largely one of blame and pathology. By contrast, the family advocacy movement has generated the perspective of the burdened family, whereas mental health policy has created the perspective of the obligated caregiver. The result is an ambiguous understanding of the role of the family in both contributing and responding to mental illness. Implications for policy and practice include the need for a commitment to the principles of partnership with families, a recognition of diversity within families, recognising the difference between carer and family positions, and a need for policy to reflect the position of family as both intimately concerned, but not necessarily responsible, for patient care.

KeywordsFamily Interventions; Mental Health; Social Work Practice; Social Policy
Year2012
JournalAustralian Social Work
Journal citation65 (4), pp. 517 - 534
PublisherAustralian Association Of Social Workers
ISSN0312-407X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2011.646281
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84870894329
Page range517 - 534
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8q072/families-and-mental-illness-contested-perspectives-and-implications-for-practice-and-policy

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