Paper explores service users views of the Social Model of Disability in Mental Health

British paper “exploring the views of mental services users/survivors and disabled people about how they felt mental health issues were understood in society and how they themselves understood them” 

From Mental Illness to a Social Model of Madness and Distress.

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… While divided about the social model of disability, most service users who took part in the project feel that social approaches to mental health, which take account of the whole person and wider societal issues affecting them, are the most helpful. Some feel that such social approaches need to be incorporated more widely in medical practice. Service users value an holistic or combined approach which takes account of both the individual and their social circumstances. Findings highlighted the complexity of service users’ views, their reluctance to impose monolithic interpretations on their feelings and experience and desire to take account of both personal and social issues. While some service users value some medical interventions, they draw a distinction between that and a narrow medical model and overreliance on medication.

While seeing benefits to be gained from social approaches to mental health, particularly for members of black and minority ethnic communities, they also see practical obstacles in their way. Most service users involved in the project strongly support the idea of developing discussion about social approaches to mental health issues, particularly among service users/survivors. Some feel that progress is already beginning to be made and that there is more preparedness to think in such ways among some mental health professionals. …

See the paper here:


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