The potential and limits of mental health service user involvement

Ferguson, Iain (1999) The potential and limits of mental health service user involvement. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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User involvement in the planning and management of health and social services has been a key social policy theme of the 1990s. For users of mental health services in particular, such involvement has often been seen as offering an opportunity both to reconstruct mental health services on the basis of users' wishes and more equal relationships with professionals, and also to challenge the stigma which surrounds mental ill-health and contributes to the social exclusion experienced by many users. Yet the apparent consensus that user involvement is a 'good thing' can obscure the different, and sometimes contradictory, agendas underpinning such involvement, while also minimising the obstacles to involvement. This thesis will attempt to assess the potential and limits of mental health service user involvement in terms of the challenge that different forms of involvement pose to dominant ideologies of mental ill-health, to the professional domination of services and to the stigma and oppression associated with mental ill-health. This will involve a critical evaluation of the major factors - economic, political, and ideological - which have driven such user involvement over the past ten years, as the basis for an exploration of the attitudes towards, and experience of, involvement by service users and workers in five focus groups and nine community-based mental health projects across central Scotland. A central concern of the thesis will be to critically engage with recent characterisations of the mental health users' movement as a 'new social movement'.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Mental health, mental health services, user involvement.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Petch, Professor Alison
Date of Award: 1999
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1999-71283
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 14:45
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71283

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