Citizenship & Mental Health

Oxford University Press, 2015


Starting in the 1990s with Jim, a person who was homeless and initially refused help from outreach workers, Citizenship and Mental Health tells a 20-year story of practice, theory, and research to support the full participation of people with mental illnesses. As the first of its kind, this book addresses the concept of citizenship as an applied theory for fulfilling the promise of ther community mental health movement. Citizenship, which Michael Rowe defines as a strong connection to the five Rs of rights, responsibilities, roles, resources, and relationship that society offers its members, and a sense of belonging in society, supports the strengths, hopes, and aspirations of people with mental illnesses to become neighbors, community members, and citizens. The story of Citizenship and Mental Health is one of research and learning, but also of citizenship students (not clients), peers (people in recovery from mental illness working with students), and others who tell their own stories as part of the larger tale or the strivings of people with mental illness to make the transition from stigmatization and rejection to valued membership in society.


In the News

Not just a place to live: From homelessness to citizenship
Michael Rowe & Charles Barber
This article on homelessness and full (more than legal) citizenship was recently published in THE CONVERSATION. It has since been republished in SALON.COM, US NEW, the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, and the LOS ANGELES TIMES, among other publications.

How We Can Promote “Citizenship” in Communities
Here is another article on citizenship, from the Community Psychology website of the Society for Community Research and Action, reviewing Ponce & Rowe’s 2018 article, Citizenship and Community Mental Health Care in the American Journal of Community Psychology [61(1-2), 22-31. doi:10.1002/ajcp.12218]

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