It is clear that our society is far from affording the same quality of social recognition to all integration pathways taken by people with serious mental health problems.
However, the conclusion arising from this research conducted in Québec with different stakeholders from the mental health field points out the impossibility—which is above all an ethical impossibility—of establishing a hierarchy, however implicit, or of favouring any particular pathway to integration (as though there were pathways with varying levels of “success” depending how close they come to the dominant social norms).
The research highlights the importance of working for the benefit of all people with mental health problems.
The research highlights the importance of working for the benefit of all people with mental health problems and contributing to the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of different paths. It questions and challenges certain current tendencies within the mental health and social solidarity sectors to move towards tightening programs and practices around largely normative integration model, by encouraging the maintenance of a diversity of approaches and practices for supporting social integration.
The results of this research open up a broad and ambitious agenda: as a society, we must work to expand our view of that which is deserving of social value and consequently receives social recognition; this is an essential condition for a more inclusive society for people with serious mental health problems.
Three conditions for broadening social recognition were identified: 1) the recognition of difference in and of itself; 2) a recognition of the other that is not tied to the requirement of utility; 3) the urgent need to reflect together on ways to broaden social recognition and provide access to decent living conditions that would provide a true escape from poverty.
Marie-Laurence Poirel, Université de Montréal
Deposit of the research report: September 2015