This paper critically explores notions of social inclusion in mental health and considers some of the problems associated with its wide scale adoption as a policy driver and moral imperative. It draws out some of the assumptions underpinning strategies of inclusion and possible consequences of the move from a focus on exclusion to imperatives to ‘include’. It argues that these assumptions may lead to individualised practices guided by judgments as to what constitutes a ‘healthy’ or ‘normal’ life. Rather than being seen as a necessary and unquestionable ‘human right’ or a top-down form of social engineering, social inclusion can be viewed as a paradoxical claim which both expresses a genuine demand to tackle the consequences of social inequality and yet at the same could become another way people with mental health problems are subject to moral and social regulation.
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Uncontrolled Keywords (separate with ;):
Social exclusion; social inclusion; citizenship; inequality; critical social theory; mental health services; social policy; service users