Inpatient Psychiatric Unit
Deinstitutionalization played a significant role in shaping the current roles of psychiatric social workers. Psychiatric social workers work on inpatient psychiatric units and provide services to individuals with mental illness and their families. Most inpatient psychiatric units are unique clinical settings where doors to the units are locked from the inside and from the outside. Patients are not free to leave the units at will, and visitors to the units are monitored closely. Psychiatric social workers work with patients who voluntarily seek care and others who are involuntarily admitted. In the simplest of terms, inpatient psychiatric care today focuses on stabilization and referral to a lower level of care. Psychiatric social workers create, negotiate, and implement discharge plans. They also provide limited clinical services, usually in the form of group interventions.
To prepare for this Assignment:
Review this week’s resources. Think about the roles and functions of a psychiatric social worker in inpatient psychiatric care settings. Focus on practice skills. Consider the philosophy of psychiatric social work.
In a 3- to 4-page paper:
Explain the philosophy that drives psychiatric social work in caring for patients with mental illness.
Explain the primary goals of psychiatric social workers.
Describe the roles and functions of psychiatric social workers on interdisciplinary inpatient psychiatric teams.
Compare differences and similarities in roles, practice skills, and functions between psychiatric social workers in inpatient units and non-psychiatric medical social workers in other types of medical units or healthcare settings.
Support your Assignment with specific references to resources, using appropriate APA format and style. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the resources for this course.
Widiger, T. A. (2013). Changes in the conceptualization of personality disorder: The DSM-5 debacle. Clinical Social Work Journal, 41(2), 163–167.
John Hopkins Medicine. (N.D.). The history of psychiatry social work. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/psychiatry/expert_team/social_work/dept_history.html
National Alliance on mental illness (2019) NAMI Programs retrieved from