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Needs of Persons with Psychosocial Disability for Community-Based Assistance and the Social Work Response

Review

Persons with psychocosial disability encounter discrimination and every­day challenges as they try to overcome discomfort caused by disability and try to resist steretypes and the prejudice of those around them. Seeking to find out the confirmed needs of persons with psychosocial disability and what factors limit a person‘s self-determination and the possibilities to have community-based assistance, formed the aim of the research – to ascertain the needs of persons with psychosocial disability for community-based assistance and how social work responds to their needs. The method chosen was qualitative research; data were collected using a semi-structu­red interview. The study sample consisted of participants with psychoso­cial disabilities and participants who live with them. In order to recognize the reality of the study participants, the principles of constructivism and of mental disorders stigma theory, stereotypes theory and labeling theory were used. The results were restricted and data collection was complicated because the study was conducted in small municipalities and because of quarantine restrictions in the country. The results of the research revealed that participants mostly used health care assistance and treatment services together with state benefits. It was observed that some participants know nothing about the assistance available to them, while it was also observed that in the municipalities where the study was conducted, there is a limited range of possibilities to receive assistance. Where assistance does exist, it is concentrated in the center of the municipalities, and the question of access to it is not resolved. It was also clear that in achieving assistance, particip­ants experience indifference, ignoring of needs, and despair from medical staff and other professionals, which causes dissatisfaction within the social groups and and communities affected, and reinforces a sense of stigma and discrimination.

Keywords: Community-based assistance, psychosocial disability, social work, stigma.

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