The Research to Practice Network: Mental Health Literacy and Community Social Service Practice

Last year, The Federation re-launched our Research to Practice Network with two popular short articles on street-involved youth and gender-based violence. This month, we are excited to share another piece of learning prepared specifically for those working in the social care sector.

Mental Health Literacy & Social Service Practice

In this article, Patti Ranahan from Concordia University’s Department of Applied Human Sciences explains and explores the concept of mental health literacy—the understanding of mental disorders and their treatments, awareness of stigmas related to mental disorders, and ways to enhance help-seeking efforts.

The short article unpacks how mental health literacy shows up in front-line practice and proposes ways people and organizations working in the social care sector can improve their mental health literacy.

“Instead of framing avoidance as resistance or noncompliance, social service practitioners can recognize disengagement more as a program or organizational challenge to be understood and addressed. Improving mental health literacy requires understanding help-seeking differently and realizing that overcoming these barriers are not the individual’s sole responsibility.”

You can access and download the article on the Research to Practice webpage. (You can also review past articles and an archive of Research to Practice publications from 2008 and 2013).

As always, if you have feedback about this program and/or how we can improve it for Federation members, please let us know. There’s a lot of information and research out there and The Federation is committed to keeping our members informed and engaged as best we can.

Get involved—Community Organization Staff…

Is there an area of practice your staff members are keenly interested in? Is there a community issue or aspect of service delivery that your team wants to better understand? Help guide the direction of the Research to Practice Network by identifying topics and issues for future articles. Contact Marshall Watson at The Federation office with your ideas and input!

Get involved—Associate Members…

We’re inviting professors, students, and researchers to submit short articles and research summaries that can help improve front-line service delivery in BC’s community social services. If you know of and/or are working in areas related to reconciliation and decolonizing practice, youth in care, early years, child and youth mental health, residential care, autism, housing, seniors, substance use, resiliency, or training and supervision of staff, please contact us!

And help us get the word out by circulating this call among your students and faculty members. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Marshall Watson at The Federation office.

Rebecca Ataya Lang
Director of Programs and Services

Download the Report

Click on the cover image below to view and download the report!