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Social workers in primary prevention: action and ideology in mental health

, : Social workers in primary prevention: action and ideology in mental health. Community Mental Health Journal 15(1): 33-40

Primary prevention and a public health model have been among the distinguishing innovations of the community mental health movement. Social work practice, however, has historically been involved in community intervention and environmental manipulation to offset social and psychological jeopardy. Given a long tradition of commitment to activity and techniques which are now hailed as mental health's "third revolution," this study explores the role of social work in primary prevention. Data are from a survey of three community mental health centers in which professional staff completed the Gottesfeld Critical Issues of Community Mental Health questionnaire, a time-distribution form, and a prevention questionnaire. In addition, all staff working in primary prevention were interviewed in depth. The total sample of this study of mental health professionals was 84. This study points to some interesting contradictions found between social work action and ideology in primary prevention. Also, social workers are compared with other professionals in order to isolate some primary prevention tasks and attitudes that appear unique to each.


PMID: 466991

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