Heller book coverModern society is increasingly preoccupied with fears for the future and the idea of preventing ‘the worst’. The result is a focus on attempting to calculate the probabilities of adverse events occurring – in other words, on measuring risk. Since the 1990s, the idea of risk has come to dominate policy and practice in mental health across the USA, Australasia and Europe.

The authors, a group of international experts, examine the ways in which the narrow focus on specific kinds of risk, such as violence towards others, perpetuates the social disadvantages experienced by mental health service users while at the same time, ignoring the vast array of risks experienced by the service users themselves. The book examines how the dominance of the risk paradigm generates dilemmas for mental health organizations, as well as within leadership and direct practice roles, and offers practical solutions to these dilemmas that both satisfy professional ethics and improve the experience of the service user.

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