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Mental health and well-being in social and health care settings

An important part of social work practice is situated in medical settings. In modern society, traditional boundaries between health care and social work are changing. To some extent traditional social work or social care practices are under a process of medicalisation. At the same time though, medicine directs more attention to the patient outside the body, to the psychological and social aspects of the patient. Furthermore, a current trend in the Swedish welfare state is towards inter-professional and inter-organisational collaboration.

A noticeable example of how medicine and social care intersect is the mental health field. Following the dehospitalisation of psychiatry, mental health issues are increasingly becoming central to social work practice. Scholars interested in this field at our department are oriented towards issues of the organisation of community mental health services, mental health law and cross-cultural comparison between Sweden and other countries/regions such as South Africa, Iran and Kurdistan.

Another strand of research within this profile regards social workers in medical care. Counselling is a central practice in this respect, and researchers in this profile have been interested in gender issues, psychosocial aspects of cancer care, reproductive care and mental heath care.

The research group in this profile has a close association with the Centre for research and development in social psychiatry in Västerbotten county

Socialpsykiatriskt kunskapscentrum i Västerbotten

Head of research


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Social Work

Research area

Social work
Latest update: 2018-12-04