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Polarisation and political correctness : subtle barriers to consumer participation in mental health services

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Brenda Happell
The expectation that consumers and carers are active participants in all aspects of mental health service delivery has been a feature of Australian national mental health policy for more than a decade. More recently consumer and carer involvement has tended to broaden to incorporate education and research roles. While advancements in consumer and carer participation have been made, barriers to maximising the potential of these initiatives have been identified. The negative attitudes of mental health professionals have consistently been recognised as a major impediment to effective consumer and carer participation. Mental health professionals have been described as discriminatory and stigmatising towards consumers of mental health services. The aim of this paper is to consider the potential impact of attitudes that are less obviously negative and therefore arguably all the more powerful. The polarisation of consumers into opposites on the basis of their level of activity, and political correctness carried to the extreme, can render consumer advocacy as inappropriate or ineffective and therefore present major obstacles to consumer activity. Examples of polarisation and political correctness are presented and discussed in terms of their possible undermining of consumer led initiatives.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

7

Issue

3

Start Page

1

End Page

7

Number of Pages

7

ISSN

1446-7984

Location

Australia

Publisher

Australian Network for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health (Auseinet)

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health; Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR);

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Australian e-journal for the advancement of mental health.

Exports