Chapter

Conditions for Empowerment

Donald M. Linhorst

in Empowering People with Severe Mental Illness

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171877
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865338 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171877.003.0004
 Conditions for Empowerment

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This chapter describes nine conditions for empowering people with severe mental illness. Three conditions are internal to people with mental illness. These include having managed psychiatric symptoms, the skills, and the psychological readiness to participate in activities that have the potential for empowerment. The other conditions exist in the socio-political environment. These include mutual trust and respect, reciprocal concrete incentives, availability of choices, participation structures and processes, access to resources, and a supportive culture. For each condition, the work of Joel F. Handler and relevant material from the general empowerment literature is presented first. Then, incorporating the mental health literature, each condition is applied to empowerment of people with severe mental illness. These conditions provide the structure for assessing empowerment in the seven specific activities included in Chapters 5 through 11.

Keywords: mental illness; psychiatric symptoms; participation skills; psychological readiness; trust and respect; incentives; choices; participation structures; resources; culture

Chapter.  9806 words. 

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