The deinstitutionalization process and mental health teams working with severely mentally ill persons in Sweden
During the last 50 years, mental health care has experienced important changes in many countries around the world. One of the principal characteristics of these changes has been the development of community-based care. These have had substantial implications from the point of view of human resources. Among other things, it have required for staff the development of a new set of competencies for work in community-based settings with other professions and with a new emphasis on recovery, rehabilitation and integration of mentally ill persons. This study aims at reviewing this deinstitutionalization process from the point of view of professionals in the context of multidisciplinary mental health teams working with the most severely mentally ill people in Sweden. It is a qualitative study based on literature review and interviews to professionals working in mental health teams in a specific region in the city of Gothenburg. The general framework for the analysis of results was based on the contribution that comes from Symbolic Interactionism, specifically the concepts of “teams” and “stigma” developed by the sociologist Erving Goffman. The results have shown that the work within mental health teams is of great importance within the psychiatric organizations as well as for the intersectorial collaborations to achieve the aims of the mental health reform. It has lead to an advance in the methods used to work with the most severely mentally ill, between other things as a result of the inclusion of social professions within the field of mental health. The results also point out the complex transition Sweden has passed from the closure of big institutions until nowadays and that even if several changes and reforms has been done to improve the situation and integration of people with severe mental illness in the community it is still a big challenge for professional of mental health.
Mental health teams
severely mentally ill.