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Mental Health Care 2nd edition, An Introduction For Health Professionals, by Hungerford, Clancy, Hodgson and Jones is published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. This is a comprehensive compendium for the health care professional in Australia, from a nursing perspective. This textbook is for students of health care, nursing students and undergraduates.

The authors of Mental Health Care 2nd edition provide mental health care options across the entire Australia in both the territories and the states. It is directed toward health care professionals working outside of the mental health specialty, for students and should be used as a resource by anyone attempting to navigate the mental health care system, seeking assistance for someone in trouble or otherwise unable to manage for themselves.

Mental Health Care Hungerford provides needed definitions throughout, and hones in on the antiquated, paternalistic use of the biomedical model which sources back to the 17th century. Mental Health Care Hungerford identifies the limitations of the biomedical approach and its bifurcation of mind and body as two separate entities. The nomenclature and definitions follow from the particular approach taken. It is the opinion of the writer that the biomedical approach diminishes the patient and the professionals. In fact, the psychiatrist is defined in this limited purview.

The health and wellness approach is obviously preferred as it is more sensitive and recovery directed. Focusing on the way language is used, clearly identifies the approach, an important component in assisting the individual in truly beneficial ways. Labels can be harmful, or not. The biomedical label is considered a negative reference.

The direction of mental health is moving away from institutionalization and isolation of the mental health patient and more toward integration into the community and the world. The author indicates that 20 percent of the Australian population will experience some sort of mental illness in the course of their lives. Health care professionals, must be able to address their needs with sensitivity, allowing each individual their dignity without permitting the stigma associated with mental illness to dominate the response.

Mental Health Care Hungerford identifies in the book, multiple mental health conditions and and details how to address and how to care for the individual afflicted with each condition including depression, challenging behaviors, substance abuse and anxiety, to name several.
indigenous populations
Indigenous populations are discussed in the book, in an effort to identify mental illness from an unbiased perspective, or at least to ensure securing the well being of indigenous people from their own perspectives.

The book addresses the primary skills and knowledge required to identify and care for the mentally ill. The available services are defined. The care required for individuals diagnosed with mental illness is covered in detail.

Whether addressing multiculturalism, gender roles, ethical considerations or coping styles under duress, the authors cover the material related to mental illness thoroughly, with sensitivity and concern for all Australians.

This textbook, Mental Health Care 2nd edition, is directed toward those in the allied health fields, working outside the scope of the hospital itself. The needs of the mentally ill do not have an all-in-one answer for each malady, each condition and each circumstance. Instead, this is a humane approach to helping individuals, people with a variety of backgrounds, ethnicity’s and regional differences from across the country.

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