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--.Journal of Social Development in Africa (1999),14, 2,119-122Book ReviewsSocial Work in Mental Health: Trends and Issues, Url Aviram (ed) , TheHaworth Press, Inc (1997), New York, ISBN: 0-7890-0383-X, 134 pp ine index,Price: US$24.Social Work and Mental Healthexplores how social work academics and practi-tioners have responded to the challenge of providing adequate community servicesfor mentally ill persons.Itoffers suggestions for supporting the recovery andempowerment process of mental health consumers and for developing pro-grammes with a wide range of psychosocial, vocational and housing systems.Issues relatedtosocial work and mental health, discussed at an InternationalConference in Jerusalem, were compiled in this booktocapture major issues ofconcerntohealth and social work professionals. The articles contained in the bookcapture issues important in working with persons with severe mental illness andwho may need institutionalisation, but where community care can alsobeapossibility. Suggestions are put across to social workerstohelp them maintain theirsocial work ethics when working with mentallyillpersons and their families.Social work practitioners are reminded of the legal requirements in dealing withindividuals with psychiatric problems, as well as authentic policies that guide theirpractice.Aviram discusses factors that have shaped and guided the social work profes-sion to form a strong allegiance with psychiatry. It lays out trends that are ofchallengetocurrent social work practice. The author captures three major goalsthat societies attempttoachieve when providing psychiatric services in thissection. He further discusses homelessness among psychiatric individuals andpresents how researchers and professionals view psychological disabilities.Deegan further discusses what happens when individuals lose power over theirlives and how this is reclaimed through a psychotherapeutic orientation. Thechapter further elaborates on how this reclaim is interpreted as empowermentStuart discusses in another section why rehabilitation of persons with mentaldisabilities is not a complete process without including community care as astrategy for achieving independence. Institutional care which was criticised for itsstereotyped activities became less favourable and gave way to community carewhich struck as a better way of providing an alternative method for treating mentalillness.One other area in psychiatry discussed by Lurie in this book relatestostrategiesfor helping young adults with severe mental disorders. This may leave individualsemotionally, economically and socially disadvantaged. Helpful interventive meas-urestoassist th~se young individuals are discussed in detail.120 Book ReviewsSegal, et al, presents the effects of psychological disability on social network,swhilst Hatfield (1997) discusses tension brought about in the family as a result ofmental illness. The writers call for professional intervention to these problems.Whilst Lightman presents suitable methods of social planning and communityhousing to assist individuals discharged from psychiatric institutions, Ronelsuggests how self-help programmes can assist drug-ctependent individuals to liveindependently.The articles in the book have been designed on a manner that helps socialworkers understand where they fit into psychiatry as a discipline.Itis certain toassist them in gaining confidence in exploring this area which docs not normallyfeature as a priority in traditional social work. The articles also help student socialworkers and society to appreciate how social work interventive measures canalleviate problems encountered by thementally ill. The information captured in thearticles is sure to build trust and good relationships between medical and socialwork personnel.Reviewed by Violet Matimba-Masuku, Lecturer, School of Social Work, Harare.Cutting the Gordian Knot. The Benefits of Girls' Education in Sub-SaharanAfrica, Ann Cotton & Richard Synge (eds), 25 Wordsworth Grove, CambridgeCB3 9HH, UK, ISBN: 0-9532907-0-0, Copies available from CamFed at£15 (pluspostage&packaging)The need for sustained community-based action to reverse the high rate at whichgirls in sub-Saharan Africa drop out from school is underlined in a new book justpublished by the Cambridge Female Education Trust (CamFed) in association withthe African Studies Centre, University of Cambridge. A compilation of paperspresented to CamFed Seminars in Cambridge, Harare and Accra, the book is animportant contribution on the widening inlCrnational debate on girls' education.Clare Short, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, applaudsthe editors' emphasis on the need for study of the problem to shift towards findingreal solutions. In the book's Foreword, Ms Short calls for "approaches andstrategies which are both imaginative and realistic," saying that women and girlswho fail to receive an education "are unable to d«velop their full talent and arelocked into a position of powerlessness."The book, Cutting the Gordian Knot. The Benefits of Girls' Education in Sub-Saharan Africa, edited by Ann Cotton and Richard Synge, analyses the reasons forthe high drop-out rate of girls throughout sub-Saharan Africa and examines thestrategies being formulated by governments, international agencies and non-governmental organisations to encourage more girls to stay at school.Book Reviews 121The contributors, who include educationalists and government officials, enu-merate a wide range of obstacles to girls' chances of receiving an education,including parents' inability to pay, a shortage of schools and teachers, the longdistances that children often have to travel to school, a gender bias in favour ofboys, a perception that boys have beUer job opportunities than girls, pressure forearly marriage of girls, or the risks of sexual harassment and pregnancy. Thecommon ingredient, say the editors, is a context of persistent poverty. The focusof action, they add, has to be at the community level, through partnerships betweenall those who are committed to spreading the benefits of education.The importance that African governments are beginning to place on redressinggender imbalances in their educational systems is underlined by the contributionof ministers and government officials from Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Zambiaand Zimbabwe.Educating girls, say Ann Cotton and Richard Synge, is "an investment in betterstandards of living in thefuture, with multiplier effects


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