Perspectives on the Training Needs of Case Managers Working in Mental Health

By Daniel Cote.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Case management has emerged as a buzzword in government policy for mental health services in Ontario, Canada. Despite a government focus and enhanced funding for case management services, however, there are few university programs aimed at training case managers in Canada. This paper focuses on the academic and work-based training needs of case managers using qualitative interviews involving case managers, supervisors, program administrators, and government policy-makers. Analysis revealed that very few case managers had received formal training in case management and that they had been trained primarily for direct clinical service. While clinical knowledge around child development, addictions and mental illness was deemed essential, interdisciplinary skills development was the most lacking. Negotiations, mediation and conflict-resolution skills, managing the relationship with other professionals, and a solid clinical understanding of other disciplines received minimal emphasis in formal training despite being a primary function of the role. Macro-level understanding of legislation, basic population health, and combating stigma also emerged as important for academic and work-based training. While these areas are not new, obtaining the points of view of case managers in the field confirmed the need for interdisciplinary training, particularly in dealing with the intersection point between professionals.

Keywords: Case Management, Mental Health, Training, Interdisciplinary, Social Work

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.193-200. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 580.644KB).

Dr. Daniel Cote

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

A life-long resident of Northern Ontario, Canada, Dr. Cote’s doctoral dissertation studied the power strategies employed by staff during turbulent organizational change in a mental health context. Dr. Cote has held various clinical and senior administrative positions in health and mental health settings Northern and rural Ontario, Canada. He has used telemedicine technology extensively for providing direct clinical services, administrative planning and linkages with health partners across the North, and in educational/learning situations. Since 2003, Dr. Cote has been Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada. He is a member of Laurentian University’s Research & Ethics Board. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury/Manitoulin, and the Child and Family Centre in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Cote’s current research interests include early school leavers, psychiatry and mental health, the study of pathways for obtaining services, case management, consent to treatment, standards of professional practice and regulation, administration and management of hospitals and mental health services, and organizational change in the human services sector. Dr. Cote recently presented at the 2007 International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability in Chennai India.

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