4/5/20091Introduction to Social WorkBecoming a Change AgentMental Health Services1Social Work has assumed a key role in the provision of mental health services, promoting emotional well-being, promoting emotional well being, advocating for parity of mental illness services with physical illness services, and helping to develop affordable and accessible treatment methods and interventions to alleviate mental disorders.2Social workers constitute the largest group of mental health professionals in the United States.3
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4/5/20092Mental Health and Mental IllnessMental health is the successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and cope with diversity.4Mental Health and Mental IllnessThe term mental illness refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders – health conditions characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.5Mental Health and Mental IllnessBiological and Psychological FactorsThe mind is now understood by most researchers to be “activities” in the brain, a physical body organ. Mental illness, in most cases, can be traced to physical changes in the brain. There is no real split between mind and body or between mental and physical health.6