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Social Work & Schizophrenia

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Service User Group - Individuals with Schizophrenia Schizophrenia can be described as a chronic, debilitating disorder, characterized by an inability to distinguish between what is real and what is not (Tartakovsky, 2009). The individual usually experiences symptoms such as hallucinations and delusional thoughts, and they are unable to think rationally, communicate properly, make decisions or remember information. Some other symptoms include disorganised speech, disorganised behaviour, flat emotions, apathy and loss of drive. There are a number of theories that attempt to explain the onset of schizophrenia. This is an area of great debate. Many of the theories that have been put forward in the past have not yet been fully supported by strong scientific research. It is probable that there are a number of different causes. Modern techniques have demonstrated that some affected people have changes in the structure of their brains. There is also evidence that some of these individuals may have been affected by infections before they were born. Occasionally the disorder appears to run in families affecting many family members. The 'Diathesis-Stress Model' balances the cause of schizophrenia between internal and external influences. ...read more.


Order 1986, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, Human Rights Act 1998 and People First 1990. The main legislation is the Mental Health (NI) Order 1986, its main aim is to promote mental health, secure the prevention of mental disorder and to allow compulsory action to be taken, where necessary, to make sure that people with mental disorders get the care and treatment they need for their own health or safety, or for the protection of other people. A main policy document is People First 1990 which sets out practice guidelines for community based services and rehabilitation programmes. This document has opened up opportunities for a better quality of life for the patients concerned (OPSI, 2009) The service provision in mental health mainly consists of the statutory sector and voluntary sector. Over the years they have been successful in working together to deliver a service; however most of the funding from the boards is allocated to the voluntary sector to enable individuals to remain living within the community. This is seen positively as it promotes the independence of individuals living in the community whilst still in the receipt of support services. ...read more.


About one third of people diagnosed will completely recover but for the remainder the outlook is one that will include at least one more episode, and for some schizophrenia will turn into a major challenge for them and their families or carers (Golightley, 2006:29). Although no totally effective therapy has yet been devised, many individuals improve enough to lead independent and satisfying lives. Society can also improve their quality of lives by continuing to educate people and implement legislations which would tackle anti-discriminatory issues surrounding the illness. Social workers will continue to be part of this process promoting equality and inclusion for those who have for many years been affected by society's ignorance. Word Count - 1080 References * Golightley M, 2006, Social Work and Mental Health, 2nd Edition, Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd * Gross R, 1996, Psychology: The Science of the Mind and Behaviour, 3rd Edition, Kent, Greengate Publishing * Ingelby E, 2006, Applied Psychology for Social Work, Glasgow, Bell & Bain Ltd * OPSI, 2009, Acts (1801 to date), [online] available on the internet www.opsi.gov.uk/revisedstatutes/uk-acts.htm (accessed on 5/5/2010) * Royal College of Psychiatry, 2008, Changing Minds, [online] available on the internet www.rcpsych.ac.uk/campaigns/previouscampaigns/changingminds.aspx (accessed on 24/4/2010) * Tartakovsky M, 2009, PsychCentral Schizophrenia Factsheet, [online] available on the internet www.psychcentral. ...read more.

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An interesting piece of work looking at the various theories regarding the causes of schizophrenia and the role legislations plays. There was some use of references to support key points being made although there was much more scope for this to be developed, particularly on page 1. Mention was made of the various methods of treated schizophrenia. However I would have liked to have seen a brief discussion on why some of the methods identified raise ethical issues. The legislation identified was relevant although it is important to be able to distinguish between what is law and what is policy (page 2). Remember to include a brief introduction at the start of the essay detailing what should be covered – this will allow the reader to check whether everything has been covered. The writing style is good, just a few odd grammar errors which should be identified via careful proof-reading.

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 16/04/2013

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