Risk and new exclusions in community mental health practice
AbstractOver the past two decades, mental health practice has become increasingly focused on assessing and managing the risks posed by service users. British researchers have made significant advances in studying the consequences of risk management for community-based health and welfare services, but in Australia this field remains largely undeveloped. Drawing on my experiences as a social worker in a Melbourne-based Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team from 1991 to 2008, the present paper offers a reflective analysis of the shift in practice orientation that has emerged through the growing prominence of risk as a foundation for intervention. Specifically, I argue that this shift has led to a narrowing of service provision and that “low-risk” clients are newly disadvantaged, often excluded from service.