Coercion in the Community: A Situated Approach to the Examination of Ethical Challenges for Mental Health Social Workers

Jim Campbell, Gavin Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increasingly, mental health social workers in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world are employing coercive interventions with clients. This paper explores this trend in the context of community-based settings, using national and international research literature on this subject. It begins with a discussion about the complex, contested nature of ideas on coercion. The authors then explore debates about how coercion is perceived and applied in practice. They choose two forms of coercion*/informal types of leverage, and the legally mandated use of Community Treatment Orders*/to highlight the range of ethical problems and dilemmas that confront practitioners in this field. The authors conclude by developing a tentative, explanatory model to explain how and why mental health social workers should consider a more holistic, situated approach to help deal with ethical concerns about the use of coercion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-263
Number of pages15
JournalEthics and Social Welfare
Volume3
Issue number3
Early online date30 Oct 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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