Community mental health in Kerala: issues, challenges and opportunities for social work practice

Rajeev, S.P., and Francis, Abraham (2015) Community mental health in Kerala: issues, challenges and opportunities for social work practice. In: Francis, Abraham, La Rosa, Paula, Sankaran, Lakshmi, and Rajeev, S.P., (eds.) Social Work Practice in Mental Health: cross-cultural perspectives. Allied Publishers, New Delhi, India, pp. 233-246.

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This chapter is based on community practice experience and a reflection on the community mental health well-being initiatives implemented in Kerala, the southernmost State of India, as a result of a collaborative effort between Australian Mental Health Practitioners and Indian Professionals in 2012. With the support of collaborating Australian partners, an International Centre for Wellbeing was started to initiate community mental health practices. Mental health and wellbeing is viewed as experiencing healthy or positive self-esteem and contributing positively to the society with a sense of being worthwhile. The major elements of promoting positive mental health initiatives encompass mental health promotion activities which aim at increasing wellbeing, competence and resilience by creating conducive living environments and conditions. The reduction of mental health disorders are also included as the secondary result of mental health promotion activities. Partnerships in mental health practice between the professionals of two different nations, where human development indices are at opposite extremes, demands a synchronisation of many professional attributes. Evidence based practices are necessary in working with communities to enhance the wellbeing of people in a developing country. In this paper, the authors discuss the very nature of establishing collaboration, the design of community mental health programs and the delivery of services to people in Kerala. Furthermore, based on the field evaluations and evidences gathered from the services by the first author, this chapter will explore the challenges and opportunities for social work practice in the Kerala context.

Item ID: 37324
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-81-8424-958-3
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Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2015 06:09
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160701 Clinical Social Work Practice @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 40%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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