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Social Inclusion and Social Exclusion

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Introduction
Publications
Research and Practice
Videos and Presentations
Organisations
Links


Introduction

There is a strong link between whole life recovery process and social inclusion. A key role for services is to support people to regain their place in the communities where they live and take part in mainstream activities and opportunities along with everyone else. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that taking part in social, educational, training, volunteering and employment opportunities can support the process of individual recovery.

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Publications (date ordered)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion Mental Health and Social Inclusion is primarily written by practitioners for practitioners working to promote social inclusion of people with mental health conditions. The journal is practical and enables readers to keep up to date with innovative approaches and best practice, as well as explore problems and possible solutions. It includes applied research, case studies, commentaries, interviews, service user points of view and regular features such as Policy Watch and Research Watch. Research articles are blind peer reviewed and other types of articles are subject to editor review, with blind peer review if appropriate. The journal focuses on recovery, empowerment, rehabilitation, peer support and self-management, with regular updates.

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Research and Practice

NELFT NHS Recovery & Social Inclusion Strategy 2011 - 2013   Recovery and Social Inclusion can be intricately linked through an individual’s experience of mental illness. Although recovery is a personal journey based on the idea of resuming a ‘normal’ life despite illness or disability, this can be either significantly hampered or enhanced by social experiences, by being involved and participating in the same civic, social and leisure opportunities as others do. Although we are all at risk of social exclusion, some groups, such as those with lower incomes, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health issues, and older people, are disproportionately affected. Similarly the principles of recovery might most commonly be applied to adults of working age but also have clear applications to all age spectrums and ‘specialist’ groups that receive significant support from secondary mental health services.

Mental Health and Social Inclusion Making Psychiatry and Mental Health Services Fit for the 21st Century Royal College of Psychiatrists Social Inclusion Scoping Group 2009 Social exclusion refers to the extent to which individuals are unable to participate in key areas of economic, social and cultural life. The emphasis here is on non-participation arising from constraint, rather than choice. The Scoping Group has taken a broad view of the socially inclusive perspective, including within it anti discrimination laws, equality and human rights, social justice and citizenship, in addition to a clinical perspective. It is from this standpoint that the pernicious nature of exclusion and the importance of social inclusion for people with mental health problems and those with intellectual disabilities can be most clearly appreciated, and that the role which our social and political institutions have in making this happen can be best understood.

Towards social inclusion in mental health? Justine Schneider, Carole J. Bramley, British Journal of Psychiatry 2008 This article explores the uses of the terms social exclusion and social inclusion in a mental health context. We briefly describe the origins of the term social exclusion and analyse its connotations in relation to four key dimensions: the relative, multifactorial, dynamic and transactional. We discuss Levitas’s three discourses concerning social exclusion (the redistributionist, moral underclass and social integrationist) and present a case in favour of a fourth perspective, societal oppression. Focusing on social inclusion as a remedy for the ills of social exclusion, we discuss implications for contemporary mental health policy, practice and research. We highlight the potential contribution of social psychology to social inclusion theory. We conclude that a better theoretical understanding of causal mechanisms is needed to enable the development of more socially inclusive mental health services.

Mental health in the Mainstream Rethink/Institute for Public Policy Research 2005  Mental health problems deny people many ordinary opportunities. It has been estimated that someone with a serious mental health problem is four times more likely than an ‘average’ person to have no close friends (Huxley and Thornicroft 2003). In a survey, 84 per cent of people with mental health problems reported feeling isolated, compared with 29 per cent of the general population (Mind 2004). These barriers to basic social networks signal the wider social exclusion of people with mental health problems. There is increasing understanding about the links between poor mental health and social exclusion. Social exclusion can be defined as a series of interconnected problems around poverty, discrimination, unemployment, low skills, bad housing and poor health. By any account adults with mental health problems are one of the most excluded groups in the UK. Poor mental health is sustained by social exclusion and discrimination. As such, it has been argued that social inclusion should be the ultimate goal of a recovery–orientated health service (Sayce 2000).

Social inclusion, social quality and mental illness Peter Huxley , Graham Thornicroft British Journal of Psychiatry 1 April 2003 It has been argued that people with a significant mental illness are among the most excluded in society. Sayce ( 2001), for instance, has proposed that psychiatrists should directly embrace social inclusion and recovery as treatment goals. They should indirectly contribute by engaging in the wider social policy debate, including for example issues relating to the disability rights agenda. Controversially, she has suggested that the UK Disability Rights Commission now has a more significant role to play than the National Service Framework for Mental Health in promoting the social inclusion of people with mental health problems.

Social inclusion and mental health Liz Sayce, British Journal of Psychiatry, 1 April 2001  The Government's commitment to reducing social exclusion, through concerted action across departments, has rapidly led to some specific changes in both policy and implementation. For example, in 1999 the Social Exclusion Unit examined the problem of young people who were neither in work nor education. They found that this group made up 9% of 16-18-year-olds and was served by a fragmented and patchy support system. They recommended a new more integrated ‘personal advisor’ approach to tackle interlocking issues such as school exclusion, literacy and numeracy problems, ill-health, young parenthood and joblessness (Social Exclusion Unit, 1999). Within less than 1 year the first pilots of their proposed Connexions Service has come into place (April 2000), with nationwide implementation to follow from 2001. There has, as yet, been no comparable Social Exclusion Unit report heralding rapid progress to increase inclusion for people with mental health problems — although the unit's life has been extended to 2002, so the potential remains. But significant opportunities also exist through broader initiatives, notably the new Disability Rights Commission and the Mental Health National Service Framework.

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Videos and Presentations


Arts, mental health and social inclusion: developing the evidence base Jenny Secker, Professor in Mental Health, ARU: Arts, mental health and social inclusion: developing the evidence base

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Organisations

 

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Links

Social inclusion A social inclusion resource devised by the Royal College of Nursing. This online resource is for all nurses and health care assistants in all settings to support practice with excluded people and ‘hard-to-reach’ communities. Health issues are key as it is well known that people who are socially excluded have poor physical and mental health compared to the general population.

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