Practice with people with severe mental illness: Rewards, challenges, burdens

Christina E. Newhill, Wynne S. Korr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The authors surveyed a random sample of 1,200 NASW members in post-master's practice in mental health to identify their attitudes toward practice with people with severe mental illness. Contrary to the literature that claims social workers have abandoned vulnerable populations or have negative attitudes toward this population, the authors found that the majority practice with this clientele and find their practice rewarding. Most of the respondents' frustration and obstacles in practice were related to systemic problems, not client-related problems. Respondents' recommendations for education of future practitioners are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-305
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Mental health
  • Severe mental illness
  • Social work practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


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