Mental health training 'should be mandatory' for social workers
Mental health and child development issues should form a mandatory part of social work training, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The group, which is the professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the UK, is calling for all social workers to be instructed on mental health and child protection, not just those who specialise in the subject.
Its plea is part of a series of recommendations made in a recent report published yesterday (March 26th) that outlined the various measures it believes are needed to improve the quality of care given to mental health patients.
The publication claimed the Health and Care Professions Council must consider a mandatory core training module in mental health for social workers and this could be complemented by giving more focus in the children and families specialism on the relationship between physical and mental development.
It also said the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council need to look into how medical and nursing study and training could focus on mental health more, while mental and physical health should be integrated within undergraduate medical education.
Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, stated equality between mental and physical health is key to making the NHS more efficient and more effective, as for too long mental health has been overlooked.
He continued: "Today's report sets out some clear objectives and some welcome commitments to putting this right. The disparities we face today require change at every level, from national decisions about how money is spent to the everyday work of health and care professionals."
Social workers are able to learn more about caring for patients with mental health illnesses by turning to e-learning provider Virtual College, which offers training they can access in their spare time.
The company boasts a wealth of virtual resources, such as modules in Parental Mental Health - a course designed to increase awareness of the main issues related to mental distress in parents and how this can affect their children - and understanding the Mental Capacity Act.