Location: Chennai (Banyan)
The International Federation of Social Workers and the International Association of Schools of Social Work have agreed on global definition of Social Work. “Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing. The above definition may be amplified at national and/or regional levels” (IFSW & IASSW, 2014). Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community (WHO, 2014). Mental Health problems are amongst the most important contributors to the global burden of disease and disability. Depressive disorders are ranked third in the list of leading causes of disability. Between 2007 and 2017, in India, the disability caused by depressive disorders have increased by 12.7% (GBD, 2017). The National Mental Health Survey (NIMHANS, 2016) reported that the prevalence of mental disorders is 10.6%, tobacco use disorders as 13.1%, and suicide risk as 0.9%. 150 million Indians aged 18 and above and 7.3% of those aged 13 to 17 years of the total population are suffering from various mental health challenges and in need of mental health care services. The study indicated that prevalence of mental morbidity is high in urban metros, among men, illiterate, widows, and in the productive age group of 40-49 years. The treatment gap for different mental disorders are between 70.4% and 86.3%. India introduced the National Mental Health Programme(NMHP) in 1982, District Mental Health Program(DMHP) in 1996, the National Mental Health Policy in 2014, and the Mental Health care Act in 2017.
The population of India, exceeding 1.3 billion people, has access to less than 10,000 mental health specialists as compared to more than 200,000 mental health specialists for 750 million in Europe. The Mental Health Atlas of India (WHO, 2011) says 0.06 psychiatric social workers are available for 1,00,000 population. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed the Lok Sabha (2017) that the country needs 37,000 psychiatric social workers while only 850 psychiatric social workers are currently available. The Minister also updated that the country needs 2 Psychiatric Social Workers for every 1,00,000 population.
The comprehensive Mental health systems should focus on the social environment and social interventions. The role of Social work professionals in mental healthcare is to enable and build responsive mental health services across one's life span. It also includes appropriate and individualised care based on need, accessibility, and affordability. Social workers play a significant role in the implementation of the DMHP, in provision of appropriate and evidence based care in in-patient ( in general hospitals) or specialised hospital based care options, and in catalysing options for long term care in communities, with focus on valued social roles, enhanced workforce participation and access to livelihoods as well as focus on agency, participation and access to citizenship. It is in the context of the gap between the magnitude of mental health problems and the lack of services, especially social care interventions, and trained professionals to address it that the MA Social work in Mental health finds its relevance. It is now evident that the future of psychiatry is social (Priebe, Burns & Craig, 2013) In order to be able to comprehend the mental health concerns of these groups, it is vital to move beyond our thinking in the mental health sector and conceptualise training programmes as well as service models that integrate the biological, psychological and interpersonal with the social and cultural characteristics of the people. Thus, a teaching programme that combines ideas of human rights, social justice and empowerment along with the knowledge, skills, exposure and field practice to understand individual and interpersonal distress and problems is a need of the hour. This postgraduate programme with a foundation in social work and incremental training in perspectives and skills in mental health aims to fill this gap.
This programme equips students to work in various capacities at government and non-governmental settings.
Distribution of Credit Hours:
Core Social Work Courses
Choice Based Credit Courses
History and Perspectives of Social Work
Social Work Practice with Individuals
Social Work Practice with Groups
Research Methods I
Introduction to Health and Mental Health
Social Welfare Administration
Critical Perspectives on Social Work: Introduction to Social Theories
Research Methods II
Seminar in Clinical Social Work
Community Mental Health
Elective Foundation Course (CBCS)
Social Policy and Planning
Introduction to Epidemiology
Mental Health, Marginalisation and Human Rights
Mental Health Policy, Programmes and Legislations
Counselling and Therapeutic Interventions
Disciplinary Elective Course (CBCS)
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