ASSESSING & MANAGING RISK
(Steve Morgan & Andrew Wetherell)
• Promoting genuine involvement and collaboration of service users in the assessment and management of risks.
• The context is one of a ‘blaming culture’, whereas the reality is one of risk-taking, with the aim of achieving beneficial outcomes.
• Legislative guidance and administrative documentation have a tendency to promote more bureaucracy , and less confidence in practice.
• Good practice in the assessment and management of risks is based in effective and multi-agency working.
Risk is enmeshed in all aspects of our daily functioning; it is essentially the art of living with uncertainty. For some, the emphasis is on the positive - a chance for gain; whilst for others, it takes on a more negative focus - the experience of pain. For many people, at least for some of the time, risk simply 'is', with little conscious acknowledgement of its influences. Whatever your personal standpoint, the passions for living or dying are sustained by the very existence and temptations of risk. A life devoid of risk is likely to have no challenge and very little real meaning.
In mental health, the term schizophrenia is broadly used as a diagnosis for conditions that are often represented by disjointed thinking and distorted perceptions. It may equally apply as a diagnosis of the diverse reactions observed in relation to the concept of risk in mental health. It becomes an emotive subject, generating conflicting priorities and agendas - a linked public safety and political policy agenda; an organisational bureaucratic and administrative agenda; a clinical preventative and restrictive agenda. What these appear to have in common, when examined in some detail, is a 'cover-your-back' agenda. Seldom do we find a serious attempt to engage the service user's personal agenda!
The public safety agenda...
For many people working in the field of...