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Developing Services in: Mental Health-Substance Use

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Title: Developing Services in: Mental Health-Substance Use

Edited By: David B Cooper

Published by: Radcliffe Publishing

Reviewer: Michaela McAndrew, community mental health nurse

What was it like?

This is one of a series of six books that explore the interface between substance misuse and mental health. This particular volume focuses on developing services in this field. The books in this series are edited chapters from a number of experts. This volume includes information regarding conceptual models of service delivery alongside those describing innovative service development both in the UK and internationally. It also focuses on evaluating services against clinical guidelines and examines difficulties in the interface between services and ways of overcoming these.

In addition to these areas specific to substance use and mental health the book addresses general concerns in service development such as teamwork, developing policies and procedures and managing the stress of change.


What were the highlights? 

As a community mental health nurse in a generic setting I really enjoyed the chapter about developing integrated services. Many of us experience service users who don’t quite fit into any services and this chapter made me think about ways we could be more inclusive and adaptable. I also enjoyed the chapters about team working and communication as they picked up pertinent issues around attitudes and inter-team relationships that I identify with from my own practice.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This book is user friendly, it is set out in text book style and uses exercises to strengthen understanding and lots of diagrams and tables to support the more complex theoretical points. Each chapter stands alone so the book would be a useful reference guide though the contents do complement each other. I do wonder if the title may alienate many nurses not directly involved in service development, if so it would be unfortunate as the content is of value to all in contact with this client group both in providing and accessing quality care in a number of settings

Who should read it?

I believe the target audience for this series is professionals working in substance use and mental health settings. It would be misleading to assume that this book is only for those involved in commissioning and developing services however. The diverse authors, subject matter and extensive reading lists make it a good reference for a better understanding of delivering services and the pressures our colleagues face in these specialist areas.

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