Journal Article

Mental Health and Older Women: The Challenges for Social Perspectives and Community Capacity Building

Barbara Fawcett and Jill Reynolds

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 5, pages 1488-1502
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcp042
Mental Health and Older Women: The Challenges for Social Perspectives and Community Capacity Building

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Older women tend to be either rendered invisible in relation to considerations of mental health or, conversely, constructed as potential mental health problems. In this article, we draw attention to the position of older women with regard to current debates in the mental health field. It is argued that, within the UK and Australia, the prioritization of the management of risk and what an older woman cannot do rather than what she can adversely affects not only her mental well-being, but also the contribution that she can make to the community in which she lives. We argue that the fostering of strengths-based community capacity building, which includes proactive, innovative and flexible underpinning practice principles, has the capacity to expand rather than reduce horizons for older women, to confront restrictive and discriminatory barriers and to enhance quality-of-life factors.

Keywords: Mental health; older women; community capacity building; strengths based approach

Journal Article.  6016 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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