To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Mental health service user involvement in policy development: social inclusion or disempowerment?

Sue Cowan (Director at Working Well Together Ltd, Edinburgh, UK)
David Banks (Senior Lecturer in the School of Health, Community & Education Studies, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK)
Paul Crawshaw (Assistant Dean in the School of Social Sciences & Law, Teesside University, Teesside, UK)
Andrew Clifton (Lecturer in the School of Health, Community & Education Studies, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 9 December 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's purpose is to reopen a debate around the potential impact of narrow conceptualisations of inclusion, or participation, of service users in current mental health policy development and implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach here is a conceptual analysis of the continuity of “‘New Labour’ thinking” and its connection to Putnam on social capital and citizenship, whilst also offering counter critiques drawing on Bourdieu, Rose, and Arnstein.

Findings

The findings show the potential for disempowerment and argue for alternative service user action, either contracting on “their own rules of engagement” or specifically taking up an oppositional stance to disempowering forms of involvement. The authors also draw attention to the influence of differing English and Scottish policy drivers which appear to offer potentially different forms of engagement.

Originality/value

The paper offers a fresh analysis that particularly points to the potential value of service user groups considering alternative forms of involvement, rather than those prescribed by “Third Way” or “Big Society” thinking.

Keywords

Citation

Cowan, S., Banks, D., Crawshaw, P. and Clifton, A. (2011), "Mental health service user involvement in policy development: social inclusion or disempowerment?", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 177-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/13619321111202331

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited