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Mental Illness, Social Construction, and Managed Care: Implications for Social Work
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Managed care is creating a social reality that affects the lives of millions. Mental health coverage under health care plans is a function of how mental illness and its proper treatment are defined. These definitions are shaped by social actors competitively seeking to satisfy their particular interests. This paper examines the influence of privatized managed behavioral health care on these evolving social definitions, as evidenced in published works, written reports, and legal actions. It is written from the perspective of social workers as providers of services and advocates for social justice. Options for social work responses to managed behavioral health care are explored. (Author)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services