Mental health practices and programs around the world face growing criticism from policymakers, consumers, and service providers for being ineffective, overly reliant on treatment by professionals, and overly focused on symptoms. Many have called for new paradigms of mental health and new practices that can better support recovery, community integration, and adaptive functioning for persons diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. While there has recently been much discourse about transformation and recovery, there has yet to be a critical and systematic review that unpacks the concept of mental health systems transformation or that examines strategies for how to create transformative change in mental health. Community Psychology and Community Mental Health provides empirical justification and a conceptual foundation for transformative change in mental health, based on community psychology values and principles of ecology, collaboration, empowerment, and social justice. Chaptersprovide strategies for making changes at the level of society, policy, organizations, community settings, and mental health practices. The editors and authors draw from experience in different countries in recognition of the need to tailor change strategies to different contexts. The common experiences of the international perspectives represented underscore the importance and the need for a new paradigm while demonstrating that there are many alternatives and opportunities for pursuing transformative change. This book will be of interest to community mental health professionals, researchers, and students, as well as policymakers, administrators, and those with lived experience of mental health issues.
About the Editors:
Geoffrey Nelson, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and a faculty member in the graduate program in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario. His research and practice has focused on community mental health programs and supports for people with serious mental illness and community-based prevention programs for children and families. In 2013 he received the award for Distinguished Contributions to Theory and Research in Community Psychology from the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association.
Bret Kloos is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the University of South Carolina's Clinical-Community Psychology doctoral training program. Along with students and community partners, his work has focused on housing issues for persons with psychiatric disabilities, social inclusion, promoting mutual help, and fostering community development that create structures that sustain people's well-being and that allow for liberation from oppressive conditions. He is President-elect of the Society for Community Research and Action.
Jose Ornelas, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the ISPA - Instituto Universitario, in Lisboa, Portugal. At ISPA-IU, he is the Director of the Community Development undergraduate program and Community Psychology Masters and Doctoral programs. Over the last 25 years he has developed research and practice in the field of Community Psychology, particularly in the domains of community mental health. He was the first President of the European Association of Community Psychology and was the 2011 recipient of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Social Award for his work in developing AEIPS, a community mental health organization in Lisboa that he founded in 1987.