The historical context of the risk paradigm in mental health policy and practice: how did we get here?

Warner, J, Rovinelli Heller, N, Sharland, E and Stanford, S (2017) The historical context of the risk paradigm in mental health policy and practice: how did we get here? In: Stanford, Sonya, Sharland, Elaine, Rovinelli Heller, Nina and Warner, Joanne (eds.) Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Mental Health Policy and Practice. Beyond the Risk Paradigm . Palgrave, Basingstoke. ISBN 9781137441355

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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, 2 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 Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 11:55
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 15:41

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