Measuring the costs and benefits of promoting social inclusion

Geoff Shepherd (Senior Policy Advisor and Recovery Programme Lead, based at the Centre for Mental Health, London, UK)
Michael Parsonage (Senior Policy Advisor, based at the Centre for Mental Health, London, UK)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Publication date: 17 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review representative literature on social inclusion and evaluate the usefulness of the concept in current mental health policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a selective review of the cost‐effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving social inclusion in children, young adults with first episode psychosis and unemployed adults of working age.

Findings

Social inclusion remains a useful concept in understanding both the causes of mental health problems and how these might best be addressed. Although measurement is not easy, it can be operationalised through a mixture of subjective and objective indicators. There is strong evidence for the effectiveness and cost‐effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving social inclusion for the groups selected. These findings provide strong support for prioritising these interventions, especially in times of severe financial restrictions.

Research limitations/implications

The selection of literature for review limits the generalisability of the conclusions.

Originality/value

The paper sets out a clear and simple analysis of the concept of social inclusion and how it may be measured. It also brings together the cost‐effectiveness literature on attempts to improve social inclusion for three, key high‐risk groups. The paper strongly supports the value of retaining the concept of social inclusion, despite the fact that it has become temporarily unfashionable.

Keywords

Citation

Shepherd, G. and Parsonage, M. (2011), "Measuring the costs and benefits of promoting social inclusion", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 165-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/20428301111186804

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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