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Over-reliance on biological models in mental health practice has resulted in growing discontent from practitioners and service users, who know that social factors also have a major impact on people's mental health. Social approaches enable practitioners to promote recovery in ways that move beyond the limitations of biomedical treatments. Championing a range of innovative approaches, this timely book offers a holistic model for understanding and responding to mental distress. It places mental health within its broader social context, encouraging engagement with not just the person experiencing mental distress, but also their family and wider social world. Drawing on relevant theory and research evidence, the author: * Considers the inter-relationships between social circumstances, life events and mental distress; * Explores the roots of mental distress and its perpetuating factors; * Provides a toolkit for assessment and action planning within the social context; * Advocates recovery-oriented practice, based on emancipatory values, social participation and positive risk-taking. A welcome new addition to the BASW Practical Social Work series, Social Approaches to Mental Distress is a core text for students and practitioners of social work and other mental health disciplines. It is also insightful reading for anyone whose own life has been affected by mental health difficulties.