Where the wicked problems are: The case of mental health
Objective To use system ideas and the concept of 'wicked problems' to frame examination of a decade-and-a-half of UK mental health policy.Methods Theoretically informed policy analysis.Results Modern health care is complex, and mental health care particularly so. In the UK the mental health system has also become a policymaking priority. Features of this system mean that many of the problems policymakers face are of the 'wicked' variety. Wicked problems are resistant. Problem formulations and their solutions are contestable. Solutions which have 'worked' in one setting may not 'work' in another, and evidence to guide change is open to challenge. Actions trigger waves with widespread system consequences. In the case of the UK's mental health field significant shifts have taken place in formulations of 'the problem' to which actions have been directed. These have included assessments of community care failure, formulations emphasising problems with the professions and, most recently, the need for action to promote mental health and wellbeing.Conclusions In their efforts to secure improvement in a neglected field UK policymakers have unleashed a torrent of top-down actions. Attention needs to be paid to constructing strong, system-wide, partnerships and to examining the cumulative impact of policy actions.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Casiday, Rachel Elizabeth, 2007. "Children's health and the social theory of risk: Insights from the British measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) controversy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1070, September.
- Kelly, Brendan D., 2005. "Structural violence and schizophrenia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 721-730, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:220-227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)or ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.