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Structural stigma, institutional trust and the risk agenda in mental health policy

Joanne Warner

in Social Policy Review 19

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349415
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303466 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861349415.003.0011
Structural stigma, institutional trust and the risk agenda in mental health policy

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This chapter begins with a brief analysis of the ‘changing work paradigm’ in globalised economies and the evidence for the impact of this on mental health outcomes, particularly in terms of those who are or may become ‘precariously distressed’. This is followed by an account of structural stigma within mainstream mental health policies and the way in which they continue to reflect a risk agenda. The chapter then identifies the relationship between networks of risk in mental health and the networks of trust that have been negotiated between major constituencies, particularly between the state and relatives of victims of so-called ‘community care homicides’. The fourth and final section analyses in more depth the power of the lobby that broadly represents the latter group through the ‘organising power of grief’. The chapter concludes by explicating the circular and paradoxical nature of current policies. It is argued that they are liable to fail not only those citizens who require mainstream mental health services, but also the much larger number of people who, regardless of the reality of the risks, consider their lives and livelihoods as precarious and insecure.

Keywords: work paradigm; mental health; stress; mental health policies; health risk; community care homicides

Chapter.  7691 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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