Skip to main content

About this book

Combatting mental health stigma and discrimination has moved from a radical idea in the 1990s to mainstream policy today. However, there are huge questions about how to do it effectively, and the journey to get equal life chances is still a long one.

As part of the Foundations of Mental Health Practice series, this book explores these important questions and considers the solutions. It pulls together ground-breaking examples and the latest research evidence to argue for a compelling new theory and agenda for social change to promote equality and citizenship. Accessibly written, it demonstrates how mental health practitioners of all disciplines can stand alongside individuals with lived experience and their organisations to challenge discrimination and participate in all aspects of the community. It also addresses the role of families, friends and those with a policy, campaigning or legal interest. Completely up to date, it draws on new research and interviews, as well as the author's 30 years of experience working in the field.

With chapter summaries, further reading and reflective exercises, this book offers support for research and practice, making it an essential and important read for any student or practitioner in the field who advocates equality, and for people with lived experience, families, friends and campaigners.

Table of Contents

1. Competing Histories of Madness

  • The continuing denial of full citizenship
  • The recent arrival of civil rights
  • Different versions of history: how society has behaved towards those they view as ‘mad’
  • Narratives: of professional progress; psycho-geography; containment of irrationality; oppression of people who are ‘different’
  • History in microcosm: one asylum
  • The unheard voice of the ‘mad’ person
Liz Sayce

2. Voices of Resistance and Social Change

  • Voices of resistance
  • Collective action
  • Changes in attitudes
  • Changes in behaviour and experience
Liz Sayce

3. Understanding the Problem, Understanding the Solution: Professional Models of Anti-Stigma Work

  • The four drivers of stigma and discrimination
  • The central role of power
  • The hazards of the ‘brain disease’ model
  • The risks of the individual growth model
  • The importance of connecting, through common humanity
Liz Sayce

4. Activists’ Models of Anti-Discrimination Work

  • The libertarian model
  • The growing use of coercive powers
  • The discriminatory use of risk assessments
  • Libertarian analysis and campaigns
  • New social security campaigns
  • Risks of paternalism and ‘writing people off’
  • The need for a longer-term vision of participation, with bridge building between activists
Liz Sayce

5. Social Models of Disability, Madness and Participation

  • The liberation of the social model of disability
  • Its application to people living with mental health challenges
  • The limits of identity politics
  • Evolution of the ‘disability inclusion’ model
  • Human rights and capability theory
  • Ditching the myth of perfection
  • A social model of participation
Liz Sayce

6. Learning from Campaigns, Policies and Research: What has Worked?

  • Drawing on the ‘models’ to effectively achieve more equal life chances
  • Subverting the labelling of difference
  • Revaluing difference — from messaging to ‘mad pride’
  • Overcoming separation: the importance of contact
  • Equal life chances: systemic legal powers, citizen power, the power of incentives
  • A long-term strategy: contact on equal terms in day-to-day life
Liz Sayce

7. Ways to a Better Future: Starting Personal

  • The right to participate
  • Top priorities for action, from leaders with lived experience and expertise
  • Riding the waves of challenges and opportunities
  • Individual action to achieve the life you want
  • Tackling discrimination and human rights breaches
  • The role of friends and family
  • The role of mental health workers
Liz Sayce

8. Ending Discrimination within Mental Health Services

  • Continuing discrimination within mental health services
  • The desire for change
  • The nature of discrimination
  • How to create change
  • Leadership in services
  • Wider transformation
Liz Sayce

9. Macro Changes Across Society

  • The leadership of lived experience: social movements and control of knowledge
  • Working with allies, beyond identity politics
  • Setting priorities
  • Measuring progress and holding governments to account
  • Framing for a movement
  • Levers for change
  • Power for those most excluded
  • Channelling energies to the right to participate
Liz Sayce
Additional information