Changing conceptualizations of mental health and mental illness: Implications for “brain disease” and “behavioral health” for social work.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Melissa Floyd-Pickard, Professor and Department Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Conceptualizations of mental health and mental illness continue to be an important influence in shaping social work practice and education. By critically analyzing the emergence of the current concepts of “brain disease” and “behavioral health,” we are able to better understand the stakeholders in this renaming process. The inherent assumptions and the sociopolitical aspects of these two concepts are analyzed. Recommendations for social work practitioners and educators in preparing for a future in which they will participate more fully in the professional dialog about changes in the vocabulary of mental illness and thus more meaningfully shape the service delivery system in general, and the social work domain, in particular, are offered.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2004
mental illness, brain disease, behavioral health, conceptualizations of mental illness, mental health, social work

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