Following New Labour's election to office in the UK in 1997, policy initiatives have proliferated relating to mental health. Much of this policy innovation emphasises the social dimensions of mental health and distress, with an emphasis on employment and social inclusion. Paradoxically, this modernization of the mental health agenda comes at a time when mental health social work is struggling to establish its role and contribution within recently integrated health and social services. The paper considers whether New Labour's flagship programme, Mental Health and Social Exclusion, constitutes a "New Deal" for mental health, and whether it provides a perspective that will help mental health social work to define its distinctive contribution to integrated services.
- Mental health policy
- New labour