This webinar looks at social approaches in mental health and refers to current research and evidence.

This webinar is co-facilitated by Aly, Ellie and Hari who have lived experience of using services and influencing the development of social workers, and Ruth Allen, CEO of BASW.

MSAMH is a developing social movement of people and organisations which started with a diverse group of people, hosted by BASW, committed to social justice and building pressure for  social approaches in mental health.  From the beginning, MSAMH has focused on finding solutions through dialogue between people who use services and professionals with common interests and commitment including a shared concern about the continuing dominance of medical and clinical models to services while social and material causes of mental distress worsen.

This webinar is aimed at:

  • social workers and others who are interested in developing social understanding and approaches to mental health and distress – in services and in society as a whole.

Within this webinar:

  • The key aims of MSAMH will be further explored from an integrated service user and professional perspective.

  • The implications for social workers in particular will be discussed.

  • We will present key research and evidence, and highlight examples where social approaches are already making a difference.

  • We will encourage webinar participants to join in debate with us and to discuss how we can develop this movement. 

We encourage downloading the accompanying resources and materials to compliment the learning within this webinar.

A bit more background

As a social movement, MSAMH aims to facilitate connection and common cause across the user/survivor and professional communities to create solidarity for change in society and mental health systems to focus more on tackling social inequalities, social injustice and promoting choice, social support and rights. Addressing these and bringing them together in research, professional practice, service design and investment decisions is part of both reducing and ameliorating the conditions in which mental distress arise and worsen, and increasing access to social approaches to support and enable wellbeing

MSAMH’s aims are deeply resonant with the ambitions in recent public health, social care and NHS policies at national level and draw on international evidence from the United Nations and World Health Organisation about the pressing need to move towards creating communities and support services that promote sustainable improvements in mental health and wellbeing

Despite this resonance, the implementation of much health, public health and social  policy fails to prioritise and invest in social approaches and instead relies on medical and clinical narratives that individualise mental distress and sideline/obscure wider societal and political responsibilities and social solutions.