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Where social work resists the medics

Social workers often feel sidelined in the mental health fi eld, but the Connecting People intervention is trying to change this. Mark Hunter speaks to two professionals putting social work fi rst

mental health and the professional social work lead for Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Ask him about the role of social work


in mental health, however, and all signs of the languid rock star quickly disappear. He is almost pugnacious in his defence of the social care model. ‘I strongly believe that social work’s place [in mental health] is to


ob Goemans has the laid-back demeanour of the bass player in an indie rock band, which is what he does when he’s away from his day job as a university lecturer in

challenge the medical model,’ he says. ‘To challenge over-prescription of medication and people being hospitalised when social factors are far more important.’ The dominance of medical-based

interventions within mental health is a huge bone of contention with Rob. He simply does not believe there is the evidence to back it up. ‘Across all mental health services there is a huge disparity around the causes of mental illness,’ he says. ‘We have no research evidence of any biological or physiological causes for mental illness, yet 99 per cent of our treatments and approaches are delivered

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