Mental Health And Social Health Inequality

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‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’ (Orwell, 1945). Unfortunately this is the reality of the world we humans live in. The social divide keeps getting wider and a lot of individuals find themselves at the wrong end of the social divide and all its implications. This essay intends to highlight the impact life course perspective has on the well being of adolescents with mental health problems, how this results in social health inequality and the role social workers have in alleviating this inequality. It is pertinent to note that these adolescents are already burdened with mental health challenges and the impact this has on their lives. However these mental conditions often result in physical health challenges…show more content…
The definition of health by WHO and adopted by IFSW is holistic, as it embodies both the medical model and the social model of health. Health is described as not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It also encapsulates both physical, mental and social well being (WHO 2015). Bywaters describes health inequality as an indication of social injustice and the violation of human rights (Bywaters, 2015). Health inequality is defined by Dave Backwith as the differences in the rate of illnesses and deaths, which occur between socio economic groups. He however goes on to concur with Rose and Hartzenbuehler (2009) that health inequality results from systemic poverty and discrimination which creates psychosocial injuries (Backwith, 2015). Braveman succinctly describes health inequality as the difference in health resulting from socioeconomic disadvantages (Braveman, 2004, cited in Bywaters, 2015). It is crucial to recognise the fact that social inequalities as the term denotes arises predominantly from disparities in social gradients in life. Therefore studies have shown that countries with higher levels of income inequality have more health and social problems when compared to countries with lower levels of income inequalities (Wilkinson and Picket, 2009, 2010). Health inequality results from negative social conditions like poverty, unemployment and impaired mobility which have impacted negatively on individuals health (Fish and Karban,
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