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Community Psychology and Community Mental HealthTowards Transformative Change$
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Geoffrey Nelson, Bret Kloos, and Jose Ornelas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199362424

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199362424.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

The Capabilities Approach to Transformative Change in Mental Health

The Capabilities Approach to Transformative Change in Mental Health

(p.75) 4 The Capabilities Approach to Transformative Change in Mental Health
Community Psychology and Community Mental Health

Marybeth Shinn

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes a capabilities approach to transformative change in mental health. Capabilities, as discussed by economist Amartya Sen and philosopher Martha Nussbaum, are freedoms to do, be, or live a life fully worth living, freedoms often denied to people with mental health problems whose lives are bounded by poverty and social exclusion and by well-intentioned professionals and services that limit the agency of participants. The focus on enhancing capabilities aims to enlarge the opportunities to which people have access, a task that involves changing systems as much as individuals. The chapter emphasizes that community psychology can contribute to the capabilities approach by focusing attention on programs and settings that foster capabilities and by developing measures to gauge successful settings for capability building. This approach is illustrated with examples from housing and employment programs that foster capabilities for people with serious mental illnesses.

Keywords:   cCapabilities, freedom, housing, employment, community psychology

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