IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/hepoli/v101y2011i3p220-227.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Where the wicked problems are: The case of mental health

Author

Listed:
  • Hannigan, Ben
  • Coffey, Michael

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hannigan, Ben & Coffey, Michael, 2011. "Where the wicked problems are: The case of mental health," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 220-227, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:220-227
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168851010003325
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kelly, Brendan D., 2005. "Structural violence and schizophrenia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 721-730, August.
    2. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hannigan, Ben, 2013. "Connections and consequences in complex systems: Insights from a case study of the emergence and local impact of crisis resolution and home treatment services," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 212-219.
    2. Blome, Wendy Whiting & Steib, Sue D., 2014. "The organizational structure of child welfare: Staff are working hard, but it is hardly working," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 181-188.
    3. Moran, Valerie & Jacobs, Rowena, 2013. "An international comparison of efficiency of inpatient mental health care systems," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 88-99.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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: (Dana Niculescu) or (). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.