In this final chapter we summarise some of the conclusions which can be drawn from the evidence we have presented throughout this book concerning empowerment and mental health. We also highlight some of the changes that are taking place in social policy at the start of the new millennium and the way in which these are likely to influence the context within which struggles for empowerment will take place. Finally, we reflect on how the nature of education and training for mental health workers and the organisational strategies adopted within their employing agencies can help or hinder empowerment. Our discussion is located primarily within the context of UK developments and refers specifically to changes in policy and infrastructure within UK health and social care services. However, important themes within contemporary thinking on ‘welfare’ are not restricted to the UK. A focus on social exclusion and social cohesion, and on work as a means of reducing exclusion and achieving cohesion, is evident within North American and European social policy. This provides a new context within which the empowerment struggles of users/survivors are being fought.
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