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Destigmatising mental illness?Professional politics and public education in Britain, 1870-1970$
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Vicky Long

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085819

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085819.001.0001

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Insecure Professionals and The Public

Insecure Professionals and The Public

(p.59) 2 Insecure Professionals and The Public
Destigmatising mental illness?

Vicky Long

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores mental healthcare politics, demonstrating the impact of the economic and political climate on professional strategies, and revealing the interconnected fates of different professional groups. It focuses on psychiatric nurses and psychiatric social workers, examining how these two occupational groups represented mental illness and sought to obtain public support as they attempted to establish a distinct role in the field of mental healthcare. As mental healthcare policy and practice evolved, these occupational groups had to adapt to find a new role. Revealing the challenges facing insecure professional groups who tried to balance their interests with those of their patients, the chapter argues that we need to examine the relative power and status of different occupational groups, and consider efforts to destigmatise mental illness within the context of the broader goals of that occupation.

Keywords:   Psychiatric nurses, Psychiatric social workers, Professions, Public education, Power, Mental healthcare policy

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