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Exploring the compatibility of mental health nursing, recovery focused practice and the welfare state.

Conlon, M. M. M.; Ariyaratnam, M. I.; Brennan, G. K.; Bush, C. J.; Owtram, R.


M. M. M. Conlon

M. I. Ariyaratnam

G. K. Brennan

C. J. Bush

R. Owtram


This discussion paper considers the implications for mental health nursing practice when working alongside individuals in receipt of state benefits. There is arguably a profound impact on an individual's recovery from mental ill health when that individual is also dependent on financial support from the government. Access to welfare benefits can have a significant impact on the recovery journey of that individual. This discussion paper will consider the practice implications for mental health nurses whose professional values include maxims such as ‘challenging inequality’ and ‘respecting diversity’, and will seek to examine the implications for practice when such values are divergent from those demonstrated in government policy. The paper will make comparisons with international welfare systems to demonstrate the way in which alternative configurations of state welfare can promote a system of social justice that is in greater equilibrium with the professional values of mental health nurses. Finally, the discussion will focus on the options for mental health nurses to either subscribe to government policy or to find compromise solutions that enable attention to remain focused and active on a strong value base of social justice and recovery-focused practice.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 18, 2015
Online Publication Date May 26, 2015
Publication Date 2015-06
Deposit Date May 14, 2015
Print ISSN 1351-0126
Electronic ISSN 1365-2850
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 5
Pages 337-343
Keywords Equality; government; recovery; role; values;
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