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Insiders or outsiders? Mental health service users' journeys towards full citizenship

Hamer, Helen P., Finlayson, Mary P. and Warren, Helen (2014). Insiders or outsiders? Mental health service users' journeys towards full citizenship. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing,23(3):203-211.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 4
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IRMA ID 82794376xPUB170
Title Insiders or outsiders? Mental health service users' journeys towards full citizenship
Author Hamer, Helen P.
Finlayson, Mary P.
Warren, Helen
Journal Name International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 23
Issue Number 3
ISSN 1447-0349   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84898442693; 2-s2.0-84886025266
Start Page 203
End Page 211
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Field of Research 111005 - Mental Health Nursing
Abstract The present study explores the journeys towards full citizenship for those using mental health services as they lobbied to be included as full citizens with the same rights and responsibilities as others in society. Qualitative data were collected through semistructured interviews with 17 service users, five government representatives, and seven registered mental health nurses. A conceptual framework of citizenship containing four domains - the extent, content, depth and acts of citizenship - was used to analyse the data. This paper reports the findings from the service users' data in the first domain, the extent of citizenship, defined as the rules and norms of inclusion and exclusion. The degree to which the service user participants were accepted as full citizens with the same civil, political, and social rights as others was contingent on their ability to adopt their society's rules and norms and appear as 'normal' citizens. Participants often experienced being 'othered' and excluded from the many rights and responsibilities of citizenship due to society's perception that service users lack certain attributes of normal, productive citizens. Participants reported that being labelled with a mental illness led to them being marginalized and ostracized, thus placing conditions and barriers on their citizenship status. Findings show that in response to experiencing conditional citizenship, participants shaped their behaviour to assimilate with other citizens. As well, they engaged in practices of inclusion to challenge and broaden the social rules and norms in order to be accepted without disavowing their differences.
Keywords Biomedical model
Citizenship
Exclusion
Inclusion
Service user
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/inm.12046   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 16:19:42 CST by Anthony Hornby