Complex Caring Trajectories in Community Mental Health: Contingencies, Divisions of Labor and Care Coordination

Abstract

The concept of ‘trajectory’ refers to the unfolding of individual service users’ health and illness experiences, the organization of health and social care work surrounding them and the impact this work has on people involved. Using qualitative data from a study completed in two sites in Wales we first reveal the complex character of trajectories encountered in the community mental health field. We show how these can be shaped by features peculiar to mental ill-health per se, and by features with organizational origins. We then use our data to lay bare true divisions of labor. Mental health professionals featured prominently in our study. We also reveal relatively invisible contributions made by professionals on the periphery, support workers, unpaid lay carers and service users. In examining the significance of our findings we identify particular lessons for mental health practitioners, managers and policymakers sharing concerns for the coordination of care.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Where ‘PD’ refers to ‘primary document’, such as a single interview transcript.

  2. 2.

    Section 117 refers to the provision of statutory aftercare for people who have been subject to treatment sections of the Mental Health Act for England and Wales.

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Correspondence to Ben Hannigan.

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Hannigan, B., Allen, D. Complex Caring Trajectories in Community Mental Health: Contingencies, Divisions of Labor and Care Coordination. Community Ment Health J 49, 380–388 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-011-9467-9

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Keywords

  • Care coordination
  • Mental health systems
  • Roles
  • Trajectories
  • UK
  • Work