New ways of making sense: social perspectives on unease, mental distress and recovery

Alan Walters Building - G03
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Social Sciences
Wednesday 3rd May 2017 (18:00-19:00)
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Is the time right for looking beyond a disease model of mental health?

In his inaugural lecture, Professor Jerry Tew puts the case for new ways of making sense of mental distress. Drawing on some of his more theoretical work, including Social Theory, Power and Practice, Social Approaches to Mental Distress and Recovery Capital: what enables a sustainable recovery from mental health difficulties?, he argues that the time may be right for looking beyond the currently dominant conception of a disease model – an approach that remains rooted in late nineteenth century thinking and which may no longer be so relevant in the twenty first.  There is strong evidence that fresh perspectives may be needed if we are to understand the complex interactions between current social circumstances, adaptations in response to previous life experience, and neurobiology.

Professor Jerry Tew is Professor of Mental Health and Social Work and Director of Family Potential Research Centre at the University of Birmingham. He has over 20 years’ experience of social work, in both practice and management. He joined the academy in 1998 to research mental health, recovery and social inclusion, focusing on whole family approaches and service user involvement. Professor Tew is part of the Birmingham Mental Health Policy Commission, a pioneering new project looking at ways to the UK’s mental health policy.